Jan-Jan incident highlights sexual exploitation of children in Asia, says The Australian; Thailand professor calls show "despicable"

(SPOT.ph) The "Jan-Jan Estrada on Willing Willie" incident, a case alleged to be a form of child abuse, draws attention to the sexual exploitation of children in Asia, contributor Emma-Kate Symons said in an article for the news website The Australian.

"It is a story about show business and the lust for fame, the struggle between permissiveness and social conservatism, and child exploitation: it is a very Philippines sort of scandal," according to The Australian.

The Australian quoted Chulalongkorn University Professor and gender expert Carina Chotirawe: "The Revillame show was despicable. It felt like he was prostituting poverty, making the poor pander to him for quick cash fixes, as he does on a daily basis, and never mind if it entails a kid being sexed up and crying as he (Jan-Jan) does so pitifully... Willie was acting like God, dispensing patronage to parents inured to the poverty they see as their lot in life-and if lewdness gets them instant cash, then so be it."

According to The Australian, the "forces that put Jan-Jan in the spotlight have elements peculiar to the Philippines, but Manila is not an isolated case." For instance, she cited the "mini-Thai idol"-style contests in Thailand that have children as young as three years old suggestively dancing and singing in sexy outfits.

The Australian also listed down child prostitution statistics in Asia. In the Philippines, there are approximately over 100,000 child prostitutes.

For more on this story, log on to The Australian.

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