Now added to the list of commodities wealthy tourists can enjoy on their exotic holiday – alongside the guided tours, spa treatments, and culinary thrills – is sex. Sex tourists travel to buy sex.
Combine the horrors of sex tourism with the horrors of child marriage and what do you get?
Max Fisher writes (linked above):
When young girls are sold into marriage, as 38,000 are every day, they can expect a life with no education and few opportunities, little public autonomy outside of their adult husband’s control and an increased risk of death from pregnancy or childbirth, which are the number one killer of girls age 15 to 18 in the developing world. One in seven girls born in the developing world is married by age 15, usually sold by her family.
But some girls who grow up in Egypt’s poor rural communities face an even scarier sort of child marriage: the temporary kind. Sex tourism to Egypt tends to spike in the summer, when wealthy men from Gulf countries flood into Egypt and thousands of underage girls are sold by their parents into temporary “marriages,” according to a story by Inter Press Service.
Child sex tourism is difficult to track, but the United Nations estimates that it affects two million children every year, often in countries that are poor but have preexisting tourism infrastructure, such as Thailand, India, Costa Rica and others.