Thousands of tourists visit Nepal to enjoy the nature and culture here every year.
The tourism industry in Nepal helps in the economic growth of the country as one of the biggest sources of national income. Has anyone thought or checked what a number of tourists do around Nepal?
It is high time the motive of visiting Nepal should be monitored because we know all is not the same and no one can read people’s minds. Studies have found that many tourists are involved in what is called commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
In our daily life, we see many children working as laborers in the entertainment industries like dance bars, massage parlors and restaurants. Most of these children do not get paid. Even if they are paid, many of them are sexually assaulted.
The monetary transaction in such cases generally is made between the first party (owner) and the third party (customer), but the second party (child) does not get anything in return.
Child sex tourism is also a part of the CSEC. Earlier, it was something strange in our country. But, of late, it can be seen in Nepal too. Child sex tourism is sexual exploitation of a child by one or more persons travelling from one place/country to another in order to fulfill their sexual desires. Most children abused for sex tourism are adolescents.
Child sex tourism involves the offer of cash, clothes, food or some other forms of consideration to the child or to the third party for sexual contact. Clients of child sex tourism can be diverse: married or single, male or female, wealthy tourists or budget travelers, middle aged or old or young people, foreigners or domestic tourists. Likewise, victims of child sex tourism can be both male and female.
The tourism authorities must know every detail about all the tourists here, including the domestic ones. Not only the government, but also the people in Nepal should be aware about child sex tourism and work accordingly to eliminate it from Nepal.
It is necessary to raise awareness about this. Some of the NGOs and INGOs are working against it, but it is essential that the government of Nepal work equally against the practice.
It will also be better to organize some workshops or courses in the school books for the knowledge of children.
The Nepal government must commit itself to preventing and combating child sex tourism by establishing and strengthening legal frameworks and ensuring their proper implementation.
A version of this article appears in print on 22 July, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.
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