I have decided not to run a Star Letter today because something vital has come up and I want to talk to you about it. This weekend, the media released stories about children as young as 11 years old going on compensated dates. For those of you who don't know, compensated dating is when young people sell themselves to go on 'dates' with older people. These dates usually end in sex. In the real world, this is known as prostitution.
It is difficult to express how sad this makes me feel, and how concerned we at Young Post are about you. While Hong Kong is considered a relatively safe city, there are dangers, and for anyone to put themselves at such a risk is frightening. Once you are alone with a stranger, anything can happen. The person you are with can hurt you and even kill you.
As a journalist, I have seen what can happen to young people who take these kinds of risks.
You put yourself at risk of getting all sorts of nasty, sexually transmitted diseases from these people.
Also, if you are under the age of 16, and you have sex, it is a crime. When someone has sex with you, they become a criminal.
Men and women the world over have fought and died so that children would not be exploited in this way. Yet now some of them are choosing to be exploited. Children do this sort of thing in poor countries because they are forced to, or to earn some money to feed their families. You live in Hong Kong. You are not starving. Your life and your spirit are worth more than anything man can pay. Please, stop before it is too late.