World Day Against Child Labour – 12 June 2015
Worldwide, about 200 million children are forced to work[i]. Working conditions are often dangerous and hidden, and persistent poverty can fuel situations of sexual exploitation.
Considered by the International Labour Organisation as one of the worst forms of labour, sexual exploitation of minors exists on five continents despite national and international legislations. Each year, millions of children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Objective 1: Identify victims
Trapped in prostitution, sex trafficking or even sexual exploitation in travel and tourism, child victims of the worst forms of labour are often isolated and without access to justice or care services. Beyond the need to pursue policies of access to education and poverty reduction, it is essential to identify the victims and prosecute sexual offenders. In this sense, the network of organizations ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), in collaboration with Interpol, Europol and the national police, has created an online reporting platform of potential cases of child exploitation. Accessible on the website www.reportchildsextourism.eu and downloadable for Android phones, this platform allows any witnesses of a suspicious situation to trace information to the police authorities of their country. Based on the data obtained, the police will determine whether an investigation can be conducted internationally.
Summer vacation: a complicated period
Each year, from all international tourists, one third travels in the period from June to August[ii]. Being well aware of the prostitution of children in certain tourist destinations, more efforts are needed to sensitize the public about the harmful impact of sexual exploitation of children. A festive atmosphere, a feeling of anonymity and abundant "supply" whose age is not explicitly announced are risk factors that can favour unpremeditated violations by unsuspecting tourists. Impunity of sexual abusers is still predominant. In large part, this is due to the almost total absence of complaints filed with the competent authorities. The real challenge of the reporting platform created by ECPAT is to generate "civic reflection" on the part of witnesses.
What you can do to help now:
Download the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.report.app
Or visit the website: www.reportchildsextourism.eu
[i] World Labour Organization – World report on child labour
[ii] World Tourism Organization – Press release Octobre 30th 2014