ECPAT has released a new report that says outdated laws and weak legal enforcement are increasing the risk of the sexual exploitation of children across Southeast Asia. Underlying these risk factors is a weak legal infrastructure in many Southeast Asian countries, which is allowing offenders to act with impunity. And it is not just foreigners who are to blame, perpetrators today are largely from the region.
The Trade in Human Beings for Sex in Southeast Asia brings together 28 senior scholars and experts hailing from all over the world in various disciplines: Ethnology and Social Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Psycho-Criminology, Medicine, Law, Economics, History, as well as Humanitarian assistance to give a general statement on slavery, prostitution and trafficking in persons in this region. In recent years, prostitution in women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation has been steadily increasing at an alarming rate. Underlying reasons are not only the ongoing process of globalization and the lagging behind of the concerned emerging countries, but also a number of cultural factors specific to this region.
It took a bit of time for Mark, a year-old retiree from London, to understand why so many middle-aged white men were hanging out alone in the sad-looking bar of his hotel in Vientiane, Laos, when he visited in Then he saw all the local young women loitering nearby. Tourism is taking a turn for the torrid in Laos — and the once isolated country has a host of rivals that stretches all the way to Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Security threats are no longer just about military confrontation, territorial disputes, and nuclear proliferation. They also arise from nonmilitary dangers such as climate change, natural disasters, infectious diseases, and transnational crimes. Among these nontraditional security threats, human trafficking looms large, especially in Southeast Asia, where natural disasters and military conflicts lead to displaced people and refugees, who are particularly vulnerable to this heinous crime.
While most countries of Southeast Asia resist the classification of prostitution as an industry, or sex work as an acceptable occupation in national statistics, there is no doubt that millions of women in the region earn a livelihood from selling sexual services. To do this virtually all of these women are forced to leave their birthplaces and residences and migrate to places where they will have some anonymity. Often this migration is involuntary, and sometimes it involves cruel exploitation.
The report suggests that in spite of Asia's economic crisis, the economic and social forces driving the sex industry show no signs of slowing down, particularly in light of rising unemployment in the region. According to Ms. Lin Lim, the ILO official who directed the study, "If the evidence from the recession of the mids is any indication, then it is very likely that women who lose their jobs in manufacturing and other service sectors and whose families rely on their remittances may be driven to enter the sex sector.
BANGKOK Reuters - Rising internet use in Southeast Asia is fuelling the spread of material that is abusive and sexually exploitative of children, particularly as growing numbers of young people put footage of themselves online, an Australian police expert said on Tuesday. Regional internet availability is about 50 percent, a recent study showed, but the figure rises to 58 percent in the Philippines, a hub for online sex abuse, while in Thailand, where the problem is growing, it reaches 67 percent. In a seven-day check on Bangkok, more than 3, individual internet addresses had been identified sharing child exploitation material, said Rouse, who was speaking on the sidelines of a conference in the Thai capital.
Websites promoting tours of Southeast Asia are splashed with colorful images of golden temples, exotic jungle flowers, pristine waters, smiling children, beautiful women and happy men. There are an estimated 27 million slaves worldwide, and more than 24 million of them, or 89 percent, live in Southeast Asia. Human trafficking takes a variety of forms and occurs in a multitude of industries, and the most widely accepted definition of it is that from the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. The TIP Protocol has been promoted in all anti-trafficking efforts for over a decade.
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