Six tips to bring child sex tourism to an end
Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is a widespread, global phenomenon which has deeply penetrated the tourism sector. Child sex tourism describes the act of any person traveling outside of their country of origin in the sole objective of sexually exploiting children and adolescents. It is also the act of traveling within one’s own region of origin or country for the same purpose.
Most of predators, whether authentic paedophiles or not, are able to prey on these children and adolescents generally because of the lack of adequate protection systems or to a sentiment of immunity from prosecution. In addition, predators usually tend to justify their actions pretending that such practices would be culturally tolerated in some destination countries, or claiming that the small amounts of money, food or clothing children are given benefit not only them but their communities.
Child sex tourism is nothing less than sexual exploitation. It is a gross violation of human rights and conventions on children’s rights. It is a criminal practice that destroys the lives of many young children and adolescents who suffer serious, sometimes irreparable, consequences.
The tourism industry plays in this context an important role; it must endeavor to protect the rights of children and adolescents against this new form of modern slavery.
How tourists can help stop child sex trafficking:
- By respecting individual rights. All forms of exploitation damage the fundamental objectives of tourism. Adolescent and child sex tourism is a crime which is punishable not only in the country where it takes place, but also in the country of residence of the person who has committed this crime;
- By choosing tour operators with clear policies on the matter. If they don’t, by encouraging them to implement such policies;
- By expressing your absolute rejection of any form of child exploitation, and by educating those around you about this reality and encouraging them to take a stand against such practices. More information: www.ecpat.net;
- By reporting any situation that you deem suspicious, you may report to any local NGO or to ECPAT International;
- By asking elected political representatives to enact specific laws which can help bring children sexual exploitation to an end, while ensuring victims’ protection and improving assistance;
- By asking the media to convey clear and responsible information in this regard. If you happen to notice any ambiguous message or announcement in the media, on the Internet or the social networks, do not hesitate to report them.
According to the estimates of international organizations, more than two million boys and girls are victimized worldwide by the business of sexual exploitation. The solution demands everyone’s commitment and determination. Responsible travelers, today is November 20, Children's Day!