The Child Sex Slave Trade

One issue addressed in Margaret Atwood’s novel, Oryx and Crake, is the child sex slave trade. The sex trade, as represented in the novel, mirrors real life. Children often enter the business in much the same way. Parents sell their children, are promised their children will have a better life, away from the poverty they were born to. Child prostitution exists in countries such as Thailand, Bangkok, the Philippines, and other places worldwide. According to the ECPAT (End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism) there are nearly one million children world wide involved in the child sex trade. Marketing tactics, such as postcards and brochures, aid in advertising the sex tours of children, making it more accessible to pedophiles world wide. Although many have spoken out against the trade, little is being done to stop it. One U.S. law that does seek to stop it enables the prosecution of a pedophile once they have returned to the country. Many argue that it is not enough. With increased access internationally to the child sex trade, it does not appear that the business will be dying down anytime soon.

As boys, Jimmy and Crake watch child porn sites, once spotting a girl who is alluring to both of them. Many years later the girl Oryx, from that site, comes into their lives. She relates her story to Jimmy— sold to her “employer,” leaving her village, being taken into the city to immerse her into the sex trade. Her life revolves around this for many years.


Copyright 2006 Dr. Michael O'Conner
All rights reserved.