The Guardian called commercially raped children ‘sex workers’ again today – but only for a few hours

My gratitude to whoever it was who complained to the Guardian about this article this morning; I saw it myself, and archived the page, but had other things to do today before I could write a complaint email.

It’s still worth spelling out the arguments: rape is not work; a commercially raped child is not a ‘worker’; calling raped children (and adults) ‘workers’ reduces a sexual abuse issue to a mere labour issue.

The Guardian’s own guidelines still say ‘child pornography’ should be referred to as child abuse images. Therefore a recording of a ‘child sex worker’ doing ‘sex work’ would be an image of abuse, but the creation of that abuse image would just be ‘work’, which is nonsensical.

Here’s the original:

And here’s the current version:

It’s interesting to note that the ‘Humanity United’ logo has disappeared from the updated article – it’s nice to imagine that the organisation complained, I’ve looked at their website in the past to see what their stance is on ‘sex work’ and I didn’t see anything calling for decriminalisation of the sex industry.

Children as young as 10 were among more than 230 people rescued last month during a series of raids combating trafficking and forced labour in Niger.

Operation Sarraounia uncovered 46 children who had been sexually abused or forced to beg and hundreds of Ghanaian men who had been recruited online and then enslaved in the capital, Niamey, said Interpol, which provided assistance.

The vast majority of the children rescued were aged between 10 and 17. Most had been sexually abused in hostels and slums, while others had been kidnapped from their families and forced to beg at markets and bus stations.

Many of the minors required immediate medical attention, with some of them displaying advanced human papillomavirus infections, according to Interpol.

Police arrested 18 suspected traffickers during the 10-day operation in late January, said Interpol’s secretary general, Jürgen Stock.

“Whether it’s children, men or women, traffickers show little regard for the health and wellbeing of victims, they are simply a commodity to make money,” said Stock.

“As vital as it is to track and arrest those behind these crimes, we also need to ensure that those rescued are protected and respected throughout the police process.”

The underage victims were all returned to their families, Interpol said, with follow-up provided by social services and NGOs.

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