Commercial sexual exploitation of children, for example, through the Internet, is a major problem in Asia. Thousands of children fall victim to this form of exploitation. It turns their young lives completely upside down and causes serious physical and mental health problems.
Due to poverty and lack of enforcement
As numerous children in Asia are from poor family and often they do not attend school, they are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. In addition, cheaper flights to Asia and better Internet access have resulted in an increase in child sex tourism and online child sex abuse in this region. A lack of coordination and exchange of information between authorities means that we often see very little enforcement and prosecution in actual practice. The reality is that very few perpetrators are prosecuted for their crimes and the majority escapes punishment.
Fighting sexual exploitation in Asia
Together with local partner organisations, Terre des Hommes fights child sex tourism and online child sex abuse in Asia. Through partnership with local organisations, we do not only provide the victims with medical and legal assistance, but also collaborate with local authorities to track down perpetrators.
Still a long way to go...
In the past year, our local partners assisted 644 children who were victims of sexual exploitation during the legal process to prosecute the perpetrators. Those children were supported to report the abuse. They received legal advice during the court procedure and we also assisted the police in collecting evidence against the perpetrators. 2,797 police and justice system employees attended training in tracking down child sex abusers and how to deal with young victims. In the past three years, investigative efforts by Terre des Hommes' partners have resulted in 78 suspects of child sex tourism in Asia being arrested and 25 perpetrators being convicted. But there is still a long way to go…