Child sex tourism

Child sex tourism (CST) is travel to engage in commercial sex acts with children. In an effort to counteract CST, several governments have enacted laws to allow prosecution of its citizens, for child abuse that occurs outside of their home country.

Global response

Over the recent years there has been an increase in the prosecution of child sex tourism offenses. At least 32 countries have extraterritorial laws that allow their citizens to be prosecuted for CST crimes committed whilest abroad. In response to CST, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the tourism industry, and governments have begun to address the issue. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) established a task force to combat CST. The WTO, the NGO End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), and Nordic tour operators created a global Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism in 1999. As of June 2005, 200 travel companies from 21 countries had signed the code.Code of Conduct (CC)

Some governments have taken steps to combat child sex tourism:

Child sex abuse penalties

A growing number of countries worldwide (and the list following is not exclusive) have legislation that prosecutes tourists in their homeland should they engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with children.

Tourists from the USA

Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad. For purposes of the PROTECT Act, illicit sexual conduct includes any commercial sex act in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18. The law defines a commercial sex act as any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by a person under the age of 18.Country Specific Information Criminal Penalties

Tourists from the United Kingdom

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 enables British citizens and residents who commit sexual offences against children overseas to be prosecuted in the UK.Travelling Child Sex Offenders Foreign & Commonwealth Office Some of the offences carry penalties of up to life imprisonment and anyone found guilty will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register. The UK police and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and Interpol are actively involved in monitoring child sex tourists and will prosecute where necessary.

Tourists from Australia

Australia was one of the first countries to introduce laws that provide for jail terms for its citizens and residents who engage in sexual activity with children in foreign countries. The laws are contained in the Crimes (Child Sex Tourism) Amendment Act 1994 that came into force on 5 July 1994.Helping to Fight Child Sex Crimes Abroad - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Bulletin The law also makes it an offence to encourage, benefit or profit from any activity that promotes sexual activity with children. It applies to individuals, companies, or corporations and provides for a term of up to 17 years imprisonment and fines of up to $500,000.

Tourists from Canada

Canada has included in its Criminal Code provisions that allow for the arrest and prosecution of Canadians in Canada for offences committed in foreign countries related to child sex tourism, such as child prostitution, as well as for child sexual exploitation offences, such as indecent acts, child pornography and incest (Bills C-27 and C-15A that came into force on May 26, 1997, and July 23, 2002, respectively).Child Sex Tourism: It's a Crime Convictions carry a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment.

External links

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