In the past week I have visited two projects that are directly tackling demand. The first is in Bangkok where a team are out on the streets in the red light districts developing relationships with male sex tourists in the red light districts and the second is working with pimps in a gym in an area in Phnom Penh that is notorious for the foreign pedophiles who come to have sex with young children.
Both are faith based organizations who believe that change is possible even for the worst pimp or perpetuator. This is an incredible thought. At the moment tactics to address demand are often to scare the perpetrators and pimps through law reform and implementation that jails offenders and campaigns such as the ‘Abuse a child in this country, go to jail in yours’ billboards but whilst important this may have limited effect. But this alternative approach challenges the fatalistic notion that rights people off and says that through relationships people can make choices that are better for their families, better for the girls and better for themselves.