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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Violence against children is a heartbreaking issue all over the world. In a recent survey conducted by the World Health Organization approximately forty million children under the age of 15 suffer from domestic abuses. UNICEF’s estimate is that one to two million children every year are subject to commercial sexual exploitation. Whether they are commercial or domestic aggressions, our obligation is to obliterate them.


Children are constantly having their innocence stripped away from them by child predators involved in commercial sexual exploitations of children (CSEC). CSEC is considered to be a form of economic exploitation, which includes slavery and child labor. Although sexual abuse is present in many forms, CSEC only occurs when the abuse takes place for economic benefit. For that reason, child rape and molestation usually doesn’t qualify as CSEC since the perpetrator doesn’t profit. Child pornography, however, along with prostitution under the age of 18, trafficking of children, and child sex tourism are all egregious acts regarded as CSEC. Not surprisingly, victims of these perversely crude industries are often insolently wounded both physically and mentally.

Not only are these children used for sexual services, but they are sometimes beaten and/or drugged as well. To show dominance over the victims, the sex traffickers may exercise physical abuse such as neglect, hitting, kicking, etc. Emotional abusive methods are also used to keep the children under the trafficker’s control. These actions can induce short term as well as long term effects such as: difficulty in school, symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, asthma, depression and anxiety. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. Both types, no matter what the severity, have devastating effects on the victims.


Sadly, there are many reasons that children become part of national and international sex trades. One of the most common is a bad home environment, which can cause children to run away from home making them more susceptible to abuse. Family mechanics cause children to be sold into the sex trade to provide food, shelter and sometimes money for their families, themselves or their sex trafficker. Another frequent circumstance is kidnapping. Sex traffickers abduct countless children that they will then sell or use for sexual profits. Demand, disappointingly, is also a major incentive of CSEC. For example, sex tourists, military troops, natural disasters or large public groups are all motives for dramatic CSEC rate increases. Other reasons for CSEC can be, but are not limited to: dense populations, high concentrations of night entertainment (clubs, bars, etc.), and access to highways, ports or borders.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is intensely painful, mentally and physically, for all children involved. Harsher punishments for convicted perpetrators, more media coverage and more rehabilitation facilities are all key elements on eradicating this industry. So what can you do to help? The first step is to make more people aware of this horrendous business. This is a matter that the entire population should be aware of . Some helpful websites to get involved are: ECPAT.net, UNICEF.org, and STOPITNOW.org. So think of the pain these children are trying desperately to cope with and take that first step.



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Bethani said...
Dec. 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm:
This is very informative! 
 
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