Worldwide, more than three million children are engaged in the sex industry. The physical and emotional damage to these children is enormous. Girls are often still a virgin when they receive their first customer. Many were infected with Hiv within months. The rising number of (child) sex tourists further increases the problem.

Terre des Hommes addresses this extreme, inhuman form of child exploitation flat out. The physical and emotional effects on the children are huge. Girls are often still a virgin when they receive their first customer. Many were infected with Hiv within months. Many other children are victimised by child sex tourism, child pornography and the 'new phenomenon': webcam child sex tourism.

What is sexual exploitation?

Terre des Hommes defines sexual exploitation as abusing the vulnerability and/or trust of a child for sexual purposes. This can be in exchange for money, clothes, food or some other promise. Sexual exploitation includes;

  • child prostitution
  • child sex tourism
  • cybersex or webcam sex
  • sexual abuse
  • child pornography

Where does sexual exploitation occur?

Sexual exploitation of children is a worldwide phenomenon and occurs everywhere. In Asia for instance, many girls work as prostitutes while boys offer themselves on the streets. In Africa and South America many girls who do domestic work are victim of sexual exploitation. But in the Netherlands too, children are victimised.

What does Terre des Hommes do?

Terre des Hommes has been combating this severe form of child exploitation for many years.

  • In the countries where we work, we pay attention to the prevention of sexual exploitation, protection and care of victims and condemning the perpetrators;
  • We support the victims with legal assistance and train police officers how to deal with victims of sexual abuse;
  • In this program, advocacy is vital to ensure a legal framework within which children can be protected against child prostitution and child sex tourism. Monitoring compliance with the legislation is another important factor;
  • From the Netherlands, Terre des Hommes engages in creating the political will to carry out national and international (governmental) programs.

Sexual abuse of children online

The internet has created a new phenomenon: webcam child sex tourism. This is a form of child sextourism where (mainly Western) pay to let children perfrom sexual acts in fron of a webcam. At any time during the day an estimated 750.000 online predators are looking for webcamsex with children. The trade in webcam child sex is expanding rapidly. If we don't act now, it is expected to develop into a worldwide industry. Thanks to the little virtual girl named Sweetie the problem is on the agenda worldwide and 1.000 online predators could be detected. In the Sweetie 2.0: stop webcam child sex tourism project Terre des Hommes and a team of international experts develop a new softwaresystem that can be used anywhere in the world to fight webcam sex with children. Millions of potential offenders will be recognized and deterred.  

Terre des Hommes also works on:

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