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Transcript: Gary Haugen on Tsunami Children at Risk

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Jan. 6, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In "The Factor" follow-up segment tonight, as we told you last night, there are thousands of children now unattended in the tsunami district. And reports say some of them are being sexually abused and exploited. This comes as no surprise to experts who know that South Asia is ground zero for the child sex trade.

With us now is Gary Haugen, the president of the International Justice Mission and author of the book "Terrify No More." Mr. Haugen also was working for the U.N. investigating the Rwanda (search) disaster.

So you've pretty much seen the worst that human nature has to offer. And I've been -- I did an investigation similar to yours in Thailand. And you're basically talking about people who don't value children at all, correct? They'll just do anything to get money.

GARY HAUGEN, "TERRIFY NO MORE" AUTHOR: Right. There's a lot of fancy words for it, but it's a global trade in rape for profit. And it victimizes about a million children a year around the world.

O'REILLY: In South Asia is [the situation] so chaotic that people go there from the United States and Europe to prey on children?

HAUGEN: South Asia and Southeast Asia are two of the worst places in the world. Hundreds of thousands of children are victimized. And you can just imagine right now with the tsunami, it's like having a whole bunch of kids just sent off a shipwreck full -- into waters that are just full of sharks, who are the sex traders. And we know what sharks do, and, as long as those kids are just left there in the waters, then we can expect them to be exploited.

O'REILLY: Do you think the sex traders are actively looking for these kids who are wandering around now?

HAUGEN: Well, I know that they are doing that because, tsunami or no tsunami, that's what they do.

O'REILLY: That's what they do.

HAUGEN: ...at the pace of about 100,000 kids a year.

O'REILLY: Now the Indonesian government issued a proclamation that says no Indonesian child is allowed to leave the country now. They flat-out can't leave, but that's not going to stop these people.

HAUGEN: I think that's a good start for getting them to stop the transportation out of the country, but the traffickers are not going to be in a hurry about this. They will hold on to the assets over the long haul. When things calm down...

O'REILLY: So they'll grab the kid and they'll just stow the kid away until the heat dies down.

HAUGEN: Sure. We know traffickers who will take care of them for months and years until the right time.

O'REILLY: Now your organization actually goes to Southeast Asia, recently Cambodia, and conducts stings, right, and then hands the people over to the authorities, or what do you?

HAUGEN: What we do at International Justice Mission is we infiltrate these sex trafficking rings and we develop evidence -- hard evidence on the victims, who they are, and also the perpetrators, take that evidence to our secure contacts in the police, raid those areas, get those kids rescued out, get them to long-term after care, and then bring the perpetrators to justice.

O'REILLY: So there are some honest authorities in these -- in Cambodia, Thailand, and...

HAUGEN: There are. What you need to do is get that information very specific and take them to the...

O'REILLY: Like who the honest people are.

HAUGEN: Yes.

O'REILLY: Because a lot of these guys are on the pad. You know they're on the take.

HAUGEN: Exactly. In fact, it only flourishes because police are on the take.

O'REILLY: Right.

HAUGEN: Now when you went and got that little girl in Thailand, you were able to...

O'REILLY: And I have to explain to the audience we -- I did an investigative report for "Inside Edition." We went over there, bought a 12-year-old girl for $200 from a woman and, you know, exposed it.

Go ahead.

HAUGEN: Right. And if you could do that...

O'REILLY: Anybody could.

HAUGEN: ... the police could do that whenever they want.

O'REILLY: Right.

HAUGEN: So the police could shut this down whenever they want. It only flourishes in places when local law enforcement is complicit with it. And so this is going to be the challenge in South Asia and Southeast Asia, is to make this a priority of law enforcement immediately, but also for the long haul.

O'REILLY: Yes. You've got to hold law enforcement accountable, and I'm glad to hear there are some honest -- because, in Bangkok, you know, it's tough to find them -- or it was when I was there 10 years ago.

Now you busted a big madam, I guess, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tell us about that.

HAUGEN: Yes. Well, the worst thing I've ever seen in the world in terms of sex trafficking was when I was part of an undercover investigation outside Phnom Penh. I was taken to a back room of a brothel and presented with about a dozen children, girls between the ages of 5 and 10 years of age. -- And I've got kids about that age.

But they weren't assembled for recess or something. They were there to be sold to pedophiles for sex. And we were able to gather the evidence on scores of these kids, work with the Cambodian authorities, rescue those victims out and then arrest a number of the perpetrators and see them not only arrested, but convicted because this is the...

O'REILLY: And what did this one madam -- what was her name?

HAUGEN: Madam Lang (search). She ended up going to jail for 20 years.

O'REILLY: Madam Lang.

HAUGEN: Yes. And she's...

O'REILLY: All right.

HAUGEN: She'll be away for...

O'REILLY: And she was selling the kids.

HAUGEN: She sure was. We had her -- she sure was. On videotape, you could just see her laughing, boasting about this.

O'REILLY: Right. So she got 20 in a Cambodian prison, right?

HAUGEN: Exactly, based on video evidence that we were able to present in that Cambodian court.

O'REILLY: Well, we want everybody to check out your organization, anybody who cares about children, the International Justice Mission, and you're doing God's work out there because somebody has to. It's just totally out of control. And we appreciate you coming on the show.

HAUGEN: Well, thanks for having us.

O'REILLY: Thanks very much.

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