Imagine : ” You’re 8 years old & you’re being sexually used by tourists. You can’t say anything against it since your family depends on that money to survive. Every different day, unknown men & women use you for their perverted needs. You go to sleep everyday wishing, what if tomorrow never comes. The horifying sound of that bedroom door opening & a total stranger walking in on the room & locking the door behind him… You want to cry for help, hit back & chase him away, ask your father to come & proect you. Instead of beautiful calm dreams, you have vomitish sexual nightmares of your past experiences.”
If you’re feeling sick right now, its good, because this is the routine life of some of the children in this world.
Many years ago, before I joined the Industry of Tourism I was disgusted by the thought of Tourists coming to Sri Lanka for Child Sex Tourism. They came with Dollars & Pounds from all over the world & the poor parents who had no way of feeding their children with 3 square meals were victimized. They didnt like the idea of their kids being used to fulfill the perverted sexual needs of unknown stranges, but they had no choice. Either this or let them die of hunger.. But there were some who sold their children for the greed of money as well.
The tourism promoters try to fulfil every need of their cusotomers, this’s the universal truth, but one should know when to draw the line. Even though no one talks about it, prostitution is a very small but essential part of tourism.
Even as I write there’re many brothals in most of the major cities in the country. This kind of supply exists, due to the fact that there’s a high demand for such things.
Child sex tourism (CST) is one of the gravest violations of child rights. Children living close to the beach find CST a novel and easy method of making money and supporting their families.
Children are vulnerable in any society. Compared to our South Asian neighbours where exploitation of girls is a problem, in Sri Lanka it is boys who are vulnerable than girls. It’s estimated that approximately 36,000 boy child victims of prostitution in some coastal districs of Sri Lanka.
Child sex tourism, part of the multi-billion-dollar global sex tourism industry, is a form of child prostitution within the wider issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism victimizes approximately 2 million children around the world.
The children who perform as prostitutes in the child sex tourism trade often have been lured or abducted into sexual slavery. The majority of individuals who engage in child sex tourism are pedophiles and the majority of the exploited children are under 12 years old. Pedophiles use the internet to plan their trips by seeking out and trading information about opportunities for child sex tourism and where the most vulnerable children can be found, generally in areas of low income.
Thailand, Cambodia, India, Brazil and Mexico have been identified as leading hotspots of child sexual exploitation. In Thailand, the exact number of child-prostitutes is not known, but Thailand’s Health System Research Institute reports that children in prostitution make up 40% of prostitutes in Thailand. In Cambodia, it has been estimated that about a third of all prostitutes are under 18.
In India, the federal police say that around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution. Brazil is considered to have the worst child sex trafficking record after Thailand.
The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) recently stated that 79% of all global trafficking is for sexual exploitation, which is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world.
Over the recent years there has been an increase in the prosecution of child sex tourism offenses. At least 38 countries have extraterritorial laws that allow their citizens to be prosecuted specifically for child sexual abuse crimes committed whilst abroad, and another 31 nations have more general extraterritorial laws that could be used to prosecute their citizens for crimes committed during child sex tourism trips. In response to CST, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the tourism industry, and governments have begun to address the issue. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) established a task force to combat CST. The WTO, ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) and Nordic tour operators created a global Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism in 1999. As of June 2005, 200 travel companies from 21 countries had signed the code.
According to ECPAT ( End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), one of the first organizations dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children, child sex tourism is especially prevalent in Asia, Central & South America.
The majority of sex tourists are adult males from more industrialized countries who travel to lesser developed countries where laws are weakly enforced and sex is cheap and readily available.
While the crisis is more pronounced in the aforementioned regions, tourists from nearly every country in the world finance the sex industry and fuel the demand for young children – especially young girls.
Today the number of children who are victims of sex tourism continues to rise. Although child sex tourism has existed for decades, the practice has exploded in recent years due in large part to the rapid globalization of trade & the growth of the tourist industry.
As countries once insulated, now open their borders to global markets and as airfares become more affordable to consumers, sex offenders find opportunities and easier means to travel abroad for underaged sex.
What’re you doing to stop this unforgivable monstrosity? Do you have the opportunity to promote the idea of “Stop Child Sex Tourism”? You don’t have to hold a sign post on a town square. Include the above slogan to the end of your email signature, update your facebook & twitter status with it, circulate emails related to this topic to others, use it in your promotional activities, etc..
Can you give 5 minutes of your life to save a child from a pedophiler?