Friday, February 03, 2012

Blog # 3 ZAMBIA: Chinese Underage Sex Scandal Sparks Emotive Debate

In Zambia, prosecutors has charged four Chinese men Zhang Daliu,46, a carpenter, Hung Pin Liu,46, a carpenter, Yang Gang Qiang,36, a welder, and Zhu Xiang, 51, a bricklayer with rape. The four men are facing possible life imprisonment if they be convicted of indecent assault and sex with a minor. Charges were brought against them by prosecutors in Luanshaya which is a mineral-rich copper belt province. Each of the four men charges carries a minimal jail term of 15 years with hard labor, with a maximum of life sentence. They were accused of having sex with girls under the age of 16, which is the legal age of consent in Zambia, for exchange of money. Moreover this started a heated debate, many people in Zambia has accused the young girls of bringing shame to families and Zambians. On the other hand many people feel that problems of poverty and desperation prevalent in Luanshaya forced the young girls into prostitution. The article states that Zambia is home to more than 80,000 Chinese of an estimated population of 925,000 Chinese now living and working on Africa, the majority of whom are men working in various jobs in urban and rural area. Chinese here became seen as the only ones with money to spend based on the economy.
Furthermore, many people understood why the young girls offered themselves as prostitutes. Many families in this country are poor and go weeks without meals. It fell under receivership and more than 6,000 miners lost their jobs. This caused massive poverty and hardship in Luanshya, and for the next six years few could afford to feed themselves and their families. I think this is a painful problem in other places besides Zambia that many poverty stricken women and  young girls prostitute themselves for men who have money. The rape of minors has increased from 1,676 in 2009 to 2,028 in 2010. It it’s interesting to find out that there may be a ways to help solve this solution. The increased number of cases has led the umbrella grouping for gender activists in Zambia, the Non-Governmental Organization Coordinating Council (NGOCC), to call for a national consultative meeting later this year.


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