Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story

Top 10 stories from 2019 – This is how children are sexually exploited around the world

Posted on Jan 3, 2020

A dark picture of child sexual exploitation has emerged in areas occupied by the retreated Daesh forces in Iraq. Swedish children are giving advice to parents: this is what you should do if our nudes are shared online. One of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations is plagued by the sexual exploitation of children.

We have listed the top ten ECPAT stories from 2019. If you haven’t read them yet, this is your chance.

      1. Iraq: Daesh’s retreat uncovered horrific cases of child sexual abuse

        ECPAT Iraq sexual exploitation - photo Reuters

        Years of conflict and instability have left children in Iraq displaced and vulnerable to sexual exploitation – with many so desperate that they have no other option but to exchange sex for survival. Sometimes they have been exploited by camp authorities.

      2. The dark side of Cancún: Child sexual exploitation

        Child sexual exploitation Cancun Mexico

        Despite efforts by local and state governments to crack down on the sexual exploitation of children, one of Mexico’s most popular destinations, the state of Quintana Roo, is plagued by the sexual exploita­tion of children. Children as young as eight years old have been advertised “on offer” online.

      3.  A crisis at its breaking point – 45 million online child sexual abuse images reported in 2018

        New York Times Child Sexual Abuse 2

        There is an alarming growth in child sexual abuse material online. A New York Times article just revealed that tech companies reported 45 million online child sexual abuse images and videos last year. ECPAT and other dedicated organisations have been raising this issue for a long time, which is now described as a crisis at its breaking point.

      4.  12 things you need to know about sexual images produced by children themselves

        ECPAT Sweden’s reporting hotline conducted research into the types of sexual abuse images that it receives that are taken by children themselves. They analysed 300 images that were received over a period of one month. The images include both girls and boys – of different ages. The team also spoke to children about how they feel about the phenomena.

      5. The link between voluntourism, orphanage tourism and child sexual exploitation 

        Orphanage sexual abuse volunteer

        There is growing recognition of the harms of voluntourism and orphanage tourism for children. The rising popularity of this trend to ‘give back’ has resulted in the unnecessary separation of children from their families and reinforced a negative stereotype that communities and families in ‘developing’ countries need ‘saving’. However, less attention is paid to the link to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Sexual exploitation of children in residential care is on the rise and it is increasingly at the hands of foreigners and volunteers.

      6. Uganda: Tourist visits to orphanages putting children at risk

        Orphanage tourism voluntourism Uganda - photo SOS childrens villages

        As tourist arrivals rise in Uganda, increasing numbers of travelling child sex offenders may be accessing victims through orphanage ‘voluntourism’ programmes.

      7. Pacific Region: Frontline workers regularly seeing child sexual exploitation

        Sexual exploitation children Pacific

        An ECPAT survey suggests the sexual exploitation of children across the Pacific Island Region is far more common than previously thought.

      8. World Tourism Day 2019 – Children rescued from sexual exploitation in India

        World Tourism Day 2019 - Sexual exploitation children india

        In a lodge in Baruipur, West Bengal, six girls were recently rescued from a situation of sexual exploitation. This was one of several simple-looking lodges – still under construction, with minimum amenities and no paintings on the wall. A lodge that is typical in the area and often out of the public eye.

      9. Czechia: Child sexual exploitation through prostitution reaches new high

        ECPAT research report Czechia (Czech Republic) child sexual abuse 5 (4)

        In Czechia, police crackdowns and a prohibition on public solicitation has driven the sex industry underground in recent years – from the streets to less visible places such as private apartments. This development has made it easier for those who would harm children.

      10. Senegal: Forced begging and domestic servitude expose children to sexual exploitation

        Senegal sexual exploitation children ECPAT_

        In Senegal, many boys are placed in Koranic style schools where they often live in poverty. Some corrupt religious leaders force them to beg on the street and some boys have been abused by teachers within the Koranic schools.