With tourism booming in Nepal, the number of sexual exploitation cases by tourists and other travellers increases at an alarming rate. 18% of the children in Nepal have had sexual contact with an adult. 30-40% of those in the sex industry in the capital Kathmandu are under the age of 18 and one in ten even between the ages of 12 and 15. Laws and regulations to tackle this problem are weak. Activities by tour operators and hotels who participate in the sexual exploitation of children also go unpunished. General understanding of the consequences of sex tourism for children is low and there is therefore no urgency to address this problem.
Stopping sexual exploitation of children
Together with four local partners in Kathmandu Pokhara, Terre des Hommes wants to make the problem more visible both on a national and local level. The programme aims at:
- Consolidating public authorities (Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, central research institute, police and judiciary system) and making civil servants, police and judges understand the
- Research into child sex tourism and further development of the National Resource Centre for children and sex tourism;
- Developing and establishing best practices to ensure implementation of long-term, enduring change, by for example fostering collaboration between public authorities, law enforcement, child protection agencies and children themselves;
- Establishing and developing the most appropriate and child-friendly support for children in order to satisfy their mental, medical and practical needs, for example by training aid workers and setting up child helplines to report cases of sex tourism.
Terre des Hommes works closely with children and child protection groups within the communities to develop the proper activities and to get the message across. The programme runs from September 2017 until July 2020.