Paedophilia in Asia: Citizens Wanting Justice

A film by Paul Moreira
First broadcast November 10, 2008 on Canal +

Young girls for sale, street kids that cost almost nothing. If the police or justice does intervene, it costs just a few dollars to avoid prosecution. It’s a safe hunting ground…almost.Now a group of concerned citizens has organised itself into an NGO to replace the ineffectual police in an effort to stamp out this blight that highlights the North-South divide. In Cambodia, the ‘Action for Children’ NGO was founded in 2003 by a Frenchman. The NGO’s 55 investigators, all Cambodian, English-speaking and paid 10 times more than the local police, have become incredibly efficient. They are digital-savvy and have learned how to use subtle diplomacy to coerce the law and police for their cause.They help with enquiries and keep close tabs on the case to ensure there’s no corruption. They put pressure on the Embassies. In four years, thanks to their work, 67 paedophiles have been arrested and a paedophilia network dismantled. All with the utmost discretion. And discretely the film documents their work and shows how the NGO recruits and makes friends with taxi drivers and hotel doormen. The film also describes the failings of the authorities and shows how the NGO can quickly change tactics as paedophiles, faced with this resolute opponent, find new ways to bypass the law. One such method is an ‘adoption’ of the child that in theory is illegal.