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Wake up, Riga

Feb 15, 2006
By Stephan Eberhardt

Between consenting adults, prostitution is an acceptable business transaction. It's even enshrined in the EU Treaty, which ensures the right to free "movement" of people. Child prostitution is another matter, however, and this is an absolute disgrace for Riga.

Witness the regular parade of sex tourists 's young, middle aged and old 's from Italy and elsewhere, in the company of what are clearly under-age girls and clearly for the purpose of buying sex. How does a girl of 15, 16, even 21 for that matter, know what consequences her decisions and actions will have, now or later in her life? For most of them who get sucked into this lifestyle, they will never get out, and they will be psychologically damaged to some extent for the rest of their lives.

When parents aren't able to supervise their children, it becomes the responsibility of the local community, and ultimately the state, to ensure the safety and protection of its young people. This segment of Latvia's future generation is being exploited, used and abused, and they deserve better.

Where is a simple law that says, "if caught entertaining in any way underage girls, you are going to jail, minimum sentence, no exceptions?" Latvia doesn't need this kind of "tourism," nor this kind of business.

Can the politicians spare a moment from their self-enriching activities and make some decisions to show that nobody is to mess with our children?

Riga

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