In 2008 there was a documentary on CNN and other stations about teen prostitution on Romania. They actually had a teen that they followed named Monica Ghinga. She was 14 years old. Well that’s what she told the news. She was actually 25 at the time but the journalist Chris Rogers did not do his homework. He still ran the story and it was very popular and moving. I can only assume that Chris Rogers just wanted to believe her to make a really cool documentary. He brought the problem of children on prostitution but he also may have hurt it. The Romanian authorities did not like how this made the country look. The Romanian police did the right thing an opened a human trafficking investigation since apparently the rest of the world knew something that they did not. During the investigation they ended up arresting Monica Ghinga for prostitution. They also revealed that she was 25 years old and not the 14 year old she claimed she was to the rest of the world.
My guess is the Romanian police probably already knew she was an adult but needed to find her to prove it. The lesson for the journalist is that prostitutes lie. The whole nature of their work is about deceit. This does not always make them terrible people but what they tell you what you want to hear. If you are a client, they will tell you and make you feel like you are they only person in the world that matters to them. They will say anything to get the job done and over with quickly. They will also tell you that they are a child if you are a sick freak and into that kind of thing. I’m curious of this girl Monica was paid for the story. She had to receive something in return for her story. They do not do anything for free.
I’m sure that there is human trafficking in Romania. This story by Chris Rogers brought attention to it which is good. Sadly, it also may have set back human trafficking investigations in Romania. It has given the Romanian lawyers something to reference when they are defending a client in a human trafficking case. The girl Monica Ghinga should have been charged with fraud. Chris Rogers also has some accountability.
I’m not a journalist and don’t claim to be. As you can see with this blog, it’s not always grammatically correct and sometimes my sentences are too long. I do know something about investigating and you should always verify a source. Dan Rather learned this the hard way.