In 1999, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific has defined child sexual abuse as:
“ Contacts or interactions between a child and an older or more knowledge child or adult ( a stranger, sibling or person in a position of authority, such as a parent or a caretaker) when the child is being used as an object of gratification for an older child's or adult's sexual needs. These contacts or interactions are carried out against the child using force, trickery, bribes, threats or pressure.” 1
Child sexual exploitation includes a variety of activities which includes exposing minors (boys and girls) to adult sexual activity, paid in cash or in-kind in streets and indoors, or to pornography; It also includes trafficking of minors for sex trade and the use of children in sex shows, either private or public.
There are several international instruments addressing child sexual exploitation and abuse; they have been recognized at the International level by different instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1981; the Convention on the rights of the Child in 1990 and its Optional Protocol on the Sale of the Children, child Prostitution and Child pornography in 2000; the Ilo Convention 182 in 1999, defining child prostitution and pornography as one of the worst forms of child labour; the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2000 with special protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons ( especially women and children). These International instruments present a variety of definitions of children sexual exploitation and their main goal is to present a wider understanding of this issue and therefore a step forward in fighting this horrible crime.
Even though children sexual exploitation is a hidden practice and precise statistics are hard to get it is estimated that approximately one million children per year are involved in the commercial sex trade. As revealed by an UNICEF report from 2001 this is a global issue:
400,000 in India
244,000- 325,000 in the U.S.
200,000 in Thailand
175,000 in Eastern- Central EU
100,000 in the Philippines
100,000 in Brazil
100,000 in Taiwan
2. Children sexual exploitation in Thailand:
From 1962 Thailand became a destination for sex tourism due to the affluence of American military personnel in the country. The military used to go there during the Vietnam War in order to rest and distract themselves. From then on Thailand became a land of origin, transit and destination for children trafficking. Nowadays the number of Thai children involved in the sex industry is decreasing as a result of legislation, economical and educational improvements, many children from neighboring border countries are being trafficked into Thailand, or ethnic tribes children trafficked within the country from the north. Thailand's efforts in the struggle against children sexual exploitation are made less...