Jean Sasson and The Good Monk & Yasmeena's Choice discussion

new Interview with Jean Sasson about her film project "Jean Sasson and The Good Monk"

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message 1: by Jean (new)

Jean Sasson (jeansasson) | 14 comments Mod
Hi everyone, below is a new interview that I just did about my film project "Jean Sasson and The Good Monk". I hope you enjoy it and if you have any questions for me please feel free to post them here. Goodbye and take care.

Q1. Does religious culture have any influence over the way victims of child trafficking are treated?

FROM JEAN SASSON: Yes, of course, but the influence, whether good or bad, depends upon the religion of the area where the child trafficking is occurring. Since we are addressing the horror of sexual slavery in Thailand in the movie, Jean Sasson and the Good Monk, we must consider that Thailand in a Buddhist country. Therefore, religious culture in Thailand has a “different sway” over this issue than it would in Muslim, Jewish, or Christian societies. Buddhist ethics are more to maintain social harmony than the idea of “sin” (as in the Christian faith), therefore, the issue of sexual misconduct, such as selling children into sexual slavery, is not nearly the moral issue it would be in Christianity, Muslim or Jewish faiths. This is not to say that Buddhist families would not be distressed if their daughter(s) work in the sex industry, but the industry itself is not considered a big shame for the country, as it might be in other cultures. Perhaps this is why the sex slave industry flourishes in Thailand, and the government and police agencies do not put any efforts forward to curb it.

I know that when I was in Thailand, I could not create any understanding of my goal to many Thai people. For example, when I was striving to free a group of young girls being held in sexual slavery, the police and political officials in the area were astounded that I cared enough to fly to Thailand, to offer money to train the girls in another profession, or to take any personal risks to help them.

Q2. Discuss the familial system in Thailand. How large are the nuclear families?

FROM JEAN SASSON: Family is considered very important in Thailand. In fact, it is not unusual for several generations to live together in the same house. Also, I find it interesting that the parent’s home is always bequeathed to the youngest daughter. In return, the daughter and her husband must accommodate the aging parents and take care of them until death.
Recently the size of families have decreased, and the average size of a family in Thailand is 3.3 family members.

Q3. How often do authorities in foreign countries step in to arrest their own citizens that have traveled to Thailand for illegal activity, such as child trafficking?

FROM JEAN SASSON: This is not common. In fact, I could only find one incident where an American citizen was arrested in Thailand and that was only because he was wanted for a crime in the United States. So, this is a crime that is virtually ignored by most countries. If only every country would arrest the men who go to Thailand to have sex with children, then this would help slow this criminal activity considerably and possibly even help to end the sex slave industry.

Q4. Is child trafficking discussed in Thailand by the citizens? And what has been done (or has anything been done?) to eradicate it?

FROM JEAN SASSON: Once again, we have a situation where child trafficking is ignored by everyone. There is so much money involved, and enormous profits to be made, and many ordinary people in Thailand are involved in the sex slave industry, including many policeman. Therefore, the business is so lucrative that no one really wants it to stop. The wellbeing of the young victims are ignored.

I have never been able to get Thai citizens to discuss or to condemn the sex industry in their country, although there are some organizations that have been formed that try to help the girls.

Q5. There are many other extremely poor countries, yet they do not have such an enormously huge problem as Thailand does with child slavery. Why do you think that is?

FROM JEAN SASSON: As mentioned above, the Buddhist faith does not look at such acts as “sinful,” therefore there is little shame attached to being involved in the industry. Also, the Thai women are some of the most beautiful women in the world. Many men will travel many miles to have sex with these beautiful, doll-like females. However, countries neighboring Thailand, including Burma or now known as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia also have huge problems with the sex trafficking of children, so it has spread to other countries in the region.

Q6. Jean your movie campaign is such a wonderful idea, because for the first time we have an expert on the issue of child trafficking that has actually traveled to Thailand and seen with her very own eyes the atrocious situations that these innocent girls are in. Since the campaign has begun I know you have received tens of thousands of visitors, letters and emails and comments from people all over the world giving you their encouragement. If every person that has read your campaign and watched your videos pledged to help what do you think would happen?

FROM JEAN SASSON: You are right that I am hearing from many people who are outraged at the plight of these young girls and women. Most wish me luck and seem genuinely concerned. However, I’ve been surprised that few actually want to be involved enough to donate even a tiny amount to help this project. IF everyone who cared would only donate $10 or $20, we would see this project get off the ground, a project that would save so many victims. Thus far, I have not had the pleasure of having many people help me with this huge problem affecting so many young girls. I don’t know why this is, but I am very disappointed.

message 2: by Geraldine (new)

Geraldine | 3 comments This is a very good interview. You know, last night I was talking to my sister about it & perhaps she will tell you when she logs on but she was wondering if you could approach a TV network? or someone like Oprah? she thinks a TV program would have more impact than an internet campaign. she told me why but I will let her post about it as this was her idea.

message 3: by Jean (new)

Jean Sasson (jeansasson) | 14 comments Mod
Hi Geraldine, Well, I'm happy to report that there have been shows about sex slavery, so it does get some attention, but I think we need a wider audience with a movie, which would reach around the world. ANYHOW, I thank you and your sister for all your care and concern. I consider you both to be friends. Will chat later! Jean

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