I am sitting at LAX airport right now – thinking about the movie “Trade” and Nepal and girls I have met and books I have read. Thinking about the current state of the sex market and how things are shifting. The traffickers are always just one step ahead. They are entrepreneurs at their best. They have a great product and know how to market it in many different arenas.
As I boarded the Flyaway bus to get to LAX there was a young girl that didn’t speak any English that got on with me. A man who didn’t look a whole lot older dropped her off. I hope he was her brother, or boyfriend, or trusted best friend – but I can’t be sure. And even if he was, I can’t be comforted. She held one small bag and a paper with ?directions? on them. I don’t know what was on the paper but she was sent somewhere alone and it looked like she was told she would be taken care of when she got there. I can’t help but wonder how much goes on right under our noses. Maybe that was just her brother and she was just going to visit some family or do something else fun – but how can I be sure?
There are signs you can look for, sure. But it is difficult when your time is so limited. And it is frustrating beyond all get out when you cannot communicate with a girl that you have suspicions about because of language barriers. Although I obviously would not have asked her straight out if she was being trafficked or sexually exploited – there are other questions you can ask around that issue that will get you the answers you are looking for. The clues and the pieces to the puzzle – that they might not even know they are giving you.
And so I sit her at LAX looking at all the young boys and girls traveling alone – or with a quite older companion. And I wonder. What can be done? When is suspicion good? When is it offensive or over the top? And why have we come to a place in a world where we have to suspect a father traveling with his adolescent daughter…