EXPLOITATION: Travelling Child-Sex Offenders in South East Asia: A Regional Review

 Travelling Child-Sex Offenders in South East Asia: A Regional Review - 2007/2008 represents the third edition of this unique compendium of information relating to the complex and dynamic phenomenon of the sexual exploitation of children in tourism destinations throughout South East Asia. First published in 2006, this annual review has been gratefully received both within the region and beyond.

Only through the commitment and persistent action of key ASEAN government partners in the Child Wise Tourism Program has this report become a reality. Intent on sharing lessons learned, exploring global, regional and national trends, analysing offender modus operandi, reviewing past efforts and cooperatively exploring new opportunities for prevention, detection, apprehension, and policy and legislative reform, these government partners report on a national basis and willingly share their national data for this regional publication. It is their hope that this report proves valuable in the global fight against the abhorrent crimes committed by travelling child-sex offenders.

It is widely acknowledged that there is no universally accepted definition of child-sex tourism (CST). Greater understanding of the scope and manifestations of CST has led to evolving 2 definitions. ECPAT International offers a useful definition, based on a current understanding of the phenomenon: ‘Child sex tourism is the sexual exploitation of children by a person or persons who travel from their home district, home geographical region, or home country in order to have sexual contact with children. Child sex tourists can be domestic travellers or they can be international tourists.

CST often involves the use of accommodation, transportation and other tourism-related services that facilitate contact with children and enable the perpetrator to 3 remain fairly inconspicuous in the surrounding population and environment.’ Another term used throughout this document is that of ‘travelling child-sex offender’. This term is effectively used interchangeably with the term ‘child-sex tourist’ as per the above definition.

Children are defined as anyone under the age of 18. There exists a dearth of reliable data and information about the prevalence of CST, as well as five arrests and convictions of travelling child-sex offenders, in South East Asia. No tool exists to capture this information and there is no central repository of this information for the region. This report does not pretend to represent a full and verifiable picture of the CST situation in South East Asia but rather, a step in the right direction in terms of enhancing reporting, accountability and understanding on this very complex issue.

This report comprises a regional overview of the CST situation in South East Asia along with national reports from all ten countries in the region. Beyond this, it offers details of what lies ahead for the region with a brief insight into the South East Asian Plan, a proposed multi-year initiative that will offer a more holistic and comprehensive approach to CST. The report also offers an update on the successful ASEAN Regional Education Campaign and, a brief summary of the key findings from a situational analysis of hotline reporting numbers in the region.

We acknowledge the ongoing support of our donor, AusAID, who has been committed to working alongside ASEAN and Child Wise to address the sexual exploitation of vulnerable children in tourism destinations for over a decade. Our sincere thanks to the ASEAN Secretariat for its valuable support over recent years and for prioritising child protection as a critical issue within the region. Finally, we acknowledge the unswerving commitment of our government partners across the region. These individuals and teams continue to work tirelessly toward the goal of ensuring greater protection for vulnerable children in their respective countries and the region.

pdf: http://www.crin.org/docs/Travellingchildsex.pdf



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