Sub-Saharan Africa

Offenders on The Move: Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism 2016

Posted By: • May 20th, 2016

Background and Rationale for the Study

There is growing recognition of the impact of  sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT) and the ways in which the rapid expansion and changing children. However, efforts to stop SECTT are hampered by a failure of collective action and a chronic lack of robust evidence and comparable data that, taken together, allow offenders to commit their crimes in the shadows and with impunity.

In the 20 years since the First World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm, Sweden, the context in which children are sexually abused in travel and tourism has been utterly transformed, but understanding of the latest developments, new dimensions and effective responses has remained limited, at best. Lack of evaluation of the many initiatives to tackle SECTT conducted to date has guide policy makers toward successful strategies and actions.

Initiated by ECPAT International, the Global Study provides evidence to guide decisions on the protection of children and adolescents against SECTT . It aims to narrow the knowledge gap on this crime, providing a fresh picture that is based on current evidence outlining the global nature of the exploitation and what drives it, evolving trends and the most effective responses to date, as well as concrete policy recommendations for collective action.

Global Study Methodology

The Global Study on SECTT used five complementary methodologies to capture all facets of this gross violation of child rights. Relevant evidence and data for the Global Study report were drawn from:

1. Nine regional desk reviews by commissioned researchers member groups

3. Forty-two papers by invited partners and experts

4. Nine consultations with 288 key stakeholders from governments, academia and the travel and tourism  industries

5. Ten consultations with the most important stakeholders of all: children and young people (395 young people from 8-to-25-years of age).

 Key Findings

The nine regional reports which form part of the Global Study reveal some similarities, such as increasing increased use by offenders of mobile technologies and the preponderance of domestic or intra-regional travelling offenders. However, each region faces its own particular challenges in relation to SECTT. A major conclusion drawn from the sub-Saharan regional research is the impossibility of sketching an accurate ‘victim profile’ as boys and girls from diverse socioeconomic groups and locations are vulnerable. Similarly, offenders come from diverse locations that are constantly shifting in accordance with global socio-economic and political dynamics. In addition, services for child victims of SECTT are generally lacking or poorly resourced in African countries and reach only a small percentage of those in need of recovery and reintegration assistance.

For up-to-date information on the upcoming sub-Saharan regional and national reports, visit the Global Study website.

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