Commercial sexual exploitation of children, for example through the Internet, is a major problem in Asia. Thousands of children have fallen victim to this form of exploitation. It turns their young lives completely upside down and causes serious physical and psychic health problems.
Poverty and lack of enforcement
As numerous children in Asia are extremely poor and often don’t 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 of children 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 escape punishment.
Fighting sexual exploitation in Asia
Together with local partner organizations, Terre des Hommes fights child sex tourism and online child sex abuse in Asia. We do not only look after victims, but also educate, provide legal aid and collaborate with police and justice to track down perpetrators.
Still a long way to go...
In the past year, we helped 644 children who were victims of sexual exploitation to prosecute the perpetrators. We assisted the children in reporting their crime, supported them during the court case or assisted the police in collecting evidence against the perpetrators. We trained 2,797 police and justice system employees in tracking down child sex abusers and how to deal with young victims. In the past three years, investigative efforts by Terre des Hommes 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…