A few weeks ago in this blog, we highlighted the documentary Sex Tourists: Tracking the Paedophiles, which focuses on denouncing the practice of sex tourism by Western paedophiles in underdeveloped countries. In Playground, the research on child abuse by its director, Libby Spears, goes a step further.

Co-produced by George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh and Grant Heslov, the documentary feature Playground shows a pioneering study in the industry of paedophilia. Filmmaker Libby Spears infiltrates the brothels of Asia, and then keeps track of sex tourists back to North America.

Through statements from important figures on this issue, such as Katherine Keane (Action for Children in Cambodia), Jim Gamble, CEO of the Centre for protection of children exploited in UK or Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (US), who delve into this problem and expound on it with cases of pedophilia (such as that of Terry Smith, arrested in 2007), the documentary shows that child prostitution is not a problem only in poor countries. Indeed, a high percentage of men who often practice sex tourism also do so in their own countries.

The documentary provides shocking figures: in the USA, the number one destination for Americans to sexually exploit a child is their own country, or that 300,000 North American children are victims of child sex trade, in 70% of the cases through abduction.

The study indicates that in a high percentage of missing children cases, victims die within the first three hours. For this reason, not a single minute can be wasted in a case of child disappearance. In addition, improvements should also be established in the protection and rescue of those children who were never found and are now destined for the sex trade.

Most Westerners cannot believe this could happen in their own country, and for this very reason, the documentary Playground investigates and demonstrates that it actually does happens.