Peruvian Net against Child Pornography

The Peruvian Net against Child Pornography is a non-profit organisation that works against Child Pornography, Child Sexual Abuse, Child Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons and especially aganist Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Peru and Latin America. We are working and liaising with institutions that aim the same objectives.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

What is the CSEC?
The commercial sexual exploitation of children consists of criminal practices that demean, degrade and threaten the physical and psychosocial integrity of children. There are three primary and interrelated forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children: prostitution, pornography and trafficking for sexual purposes. Other forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children include child sex tourism, child marriages and forced marriages.
The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a fundamental violation of human rights and children’s rights. The key element is that this violation of children and their rights arises through a commercial transaction of some sort. That is, there is an exchange in which one or more parties gain a benefit – cash, goods or kind – from the exploitation for sexual purposes of someone aged below 18. The significance of defining in-kind transactions as commercial in nature should not be underestimated, not only because they are very common, but also because there is a tendency to view some such transactions as entailing ‘consent’ on the part of a child. This includes cases where sexual exploitation occurs in exchange for protection, a place to sleep, or access to higher grades and/or promotion. The sexual exploitation of the child may profit a much wider range of people than the immediate beneficiary of the transaction.
The remuneration factor distinguishes CSEC from the sexual abuse of a child where commercial gain is apparently absent, although sexual exploitation is also abuse. At the same time, it must be noted that there is a clear link between non-commercial sexual abuse of a child and the increased vulnerability of an abused child to commercial sexual exploitation.
The conceptual distinction, however, is not always clarified or agreed upon. Yet effective counter-action requires that the concept and reality of the commercial sexual exploitation of children be well-understood by all agents and communities at large as a particular form of abuse that requires a different kind of preventive approach than measures aimed solely at eliminating non-commercial sexual abuse of children. This is even as counter-measures against all forms of sexual abuse need to be complementary and holistic.
That said, there are crimes committed against children that are widely understood to involve commercial sexual exploitation. Many of these crimes are interlinked: the prostitution of children, trafficking of children for sexual purposes, and child pornography (although pornography may also be distributed for no commercial gain). Child sex tourism generally falls into the category of prostitution (although its nature as such is not always clear), and it links into trafficking and the use of children to make pornography.
More contentious is the classification of child marriage and forced marriage as forms of CSEC. With the age of majority in countries around the world ranging from nine to 18, it is possible for a child to be legally contracted in marriage as a sexual partner. Such marriages generally involve members of the child’s family contracting an exchange for a child as a sexual partner in exchange for a dowry and/or other financial or in-kind consideration.
Other more hidden forms of CSEC include domestic servitude and/or bonded labour where a child is contracted to provide work and this is understood to include the child being used for sexual purposes.
The definition and understanding of CSEC, and its many forms, have evolved in recent years in accordance with greater analysis and newly acquired knowledge. Commercial sexual exploitation is increasingly seen to apply to many situations, such as child marriage, where there may have been a failure in the past to focus analysis on the contractual or commercial exchange that allows for sexual exploitation. In line with this, the concept of the exploiter has also been sharpened, highlighting the wide variety of people who contribute to the exploitation of a child: parents and other family members, friends, peers and teachers, as well as procurers, brothel managers, traffickers and those who engage in sex with a child.
CSEC is complex and attempts to define it by reducing the term down to the phenomenon’s core attributes must not result in minimising the focus on all specifics and the significant factors at play. For example, the descriptive term ‘commercial sexual exploitation’ does not always bring to mind quickly the violence inflicted in its practice. As well, the term’s focus on children as victims of exploitation may inadvertently shift attention from the perpetrators. As such, it is critical that use of the term ‘commercial sexual exploitation of children’ always be explained and expanded upon, in any context

Kinds of child sexual exploitation?

a. Commercial

  • Prostitution
  • Sex tourism
  • Child pornography
  • Trafficking and sale of children for sexual purposes

b. Noncommercial

  • Sexual abuse of girls or boys by family and community members
  • Forced marriage

What are the manifestations of child sexual exploitation?

  • Children as young as 11 are known to work in brothels, and some children between 10 and 12 years old living in out-of-home care have been used to make pornographic films.
  • Girls as young as 13 (mainly from Asia and eastern Europe) are trafficked as "mail-order" brides. Trafficking affects an estimated 1.2 million children per year.
  • Worldwide, 40-47 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated against girls age 15 or younger.
  • The child sex trafficking industry generates 12 billion dollars annually.

Where does it occur?

In all countries, both rich and poor. According to studies:

  • Thailand, Cambodia, India, and Brazil have some of the highest rates of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
  • In Mexico, more than 16,000 children are involved in prostitution.
  • Sexual exploitation of children occurs in various locations, including on the street, in brothels, in private homes, and in tourist facilities, such as hotels.

Who are the most vulnerable?

  • Girls and boys under age 18
  • Children living in poverty
  • Street children
  • Runaways
  • Children in vulnerable or marginalized situations
  • Children of all social and economic status

What are the causes?

  • Poverty and unemployment
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Government /law enforcement
  • Corruption Expansion of organized crime and trafficking of children
  • Low status of girls in many countries
  • Illiteracy and lack of education
  • Inadequate or non-enforced laws
  • Lack of political will to end the practice
  • Pornography and the promotion of sex tours on the internet

How does sexual exploitation impact the lives of children?

  • Long-lasting physical, social, spiritual, and psychological damage
  • Disease (including HIV)
  • Violence and abuse
  • Drug addiction
  • Unwanted pregnancy and forced abortions
  • Malnutrition
  • Social ostracism

What is RCPI - Perú doing?

a. Prevention

  • Publicity and information campaigns
  • Training for volunteers
  • Training for State agents

b. Fight against child pornography on Internet

  • Promotion of spaces to report the crime via Internet
  • Computer nets against Child Pornography
  • Service to receive anonymous complaints about pages containing child pornography
  • Tracing of pages containing child pornography or promoting these.
  • Technological assistance for the State agents in charge of finding, investigating and prosecuting the criminals
  • Forwarding of specialised information and complaints to the National Police

c. Protection of the victim

  • Free personalised psychological attention for victims and direct relatives
  • Free advice and legal defence for victims.
  • Legal advice for victims of child sexual commercial exploitation, child trafficking and child pornography.
  • Protecting child victims from criminalization

What other actions and services does RCPI - Perú provide?

  • Elaboration of studies, reports and research about child pornography, child commercial sexual exploitation and child trafficking in Peru and the region.
  • Development of issues such as: compared legislation, sexual aggressor profile, as well as the modalities, extent, consequences, effects and aftermath of this crime on the victims and the society.
  • Service of filters and computer blockers specialised in public internet cafes, schools, companies and State dependencies computers.
  • Centre of on-line public information specialised in child commercial sexual exploitation, child trafficking and child pornography.

Get involved

  • Join us in the fight to protect children from sexually exploitation.
  • Speak out. Ask Government to increase resources to prosecute citizens who sexually exploit children.
  • Raise awareness among the members of your communitie. Inform them of the problem and get them connected with agencies that help exploited children.
  • Make a contribution to Peruvian Net against Child Pornography.
  • Report Child Sexual Exploitation. Contact the RCPI - Perú if you have information regarding a person who has sexually exploited a child, or suspect someone of child sex tourism.