Having allegedly sex with underage girls from Cambodia is what has been done by a 56-year-old man from Burnaby (Canada). This was the third time is Canada that a man has been charged under the sex tourism law, which aims to protect children in foreign countries from sexual exploitation by Canadians. The law against sex tourism was introduced in Canada 10 years ago, but was recently amended to make it easier for the Canadian police to investigate by eliminating the need for police to seek consent of foreign country where the crimes allegedly occurred. A person called Donald Michel Bakker of Penticton (Canada) was the to be the first person to be successfully prosecuted. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 after police discovered videotapes showing him sexually assaulting Vancouver prostitutes and young girls from Cambodia. The chief of the Canada Border Service Agency at Vancouver airport said “catching sex tourists traveling abroad is a top priority, as is stopping child pornography at border entry points”. Sex tourism is defined by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department as “Travel for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with children. In doing so, they take advantage of the poverty and powerlessness of foreign children, expecting to exploit weakness in law enforcement”.
Original article by Neal Hall. Published in the Vancouver Sunday (14 March, 2007)
Essay by Preeti Kerah
Master in Tourism Destination Management student 2008/2009
Child sex tourism involves people who travel from their own country to another and engage in commercial sex acts with children. I personally think that child sex tourism is a shameful assault on the dignity of children and a form of violent child abuse and violence. Because of these commercial sexual exploitation of children there is a possibility that children can have the following consequences which may include long-lasting:
- Long-lasting physical and psychological trauma
- Disease ( including HIV/AIDS)
- Drug addiction
- Unwanted pregnancy
- And possibly death.
The reason why tourists engage in child sex tourism in developing countries is fueled by weak law enforcement, corruption, the Internet, ease of travel, and poverty. At the moment there are at least 32 countries who have a extra strict tourism law that allow the prosecution of their citizens for child sex tourism crimes committed in other destinations. In response of child sex tourism , non-governmental organizations (NGOs), The tourism industry, and governments have begun to address the issue. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) has established as task force to combat child sex tourism. The NGO and WTO End child Prostitution, Child Pornography. Different destinations have taken steps to combat child sex tourism. For example:
- The airline company Air France (France) has a portion of in-flight toy sales to fund Child Sex Tourism awareness programs.
- Brazil implemented a national awareness campaign on sex tourism
- Italy requires tour operators to provide brochures in ticket jackets to travelers regarding its law on Child Sex offenses both within the country and abroad.
- Thailand provides victims with shelter and essential services.
I think that at the moment the tourism law towards child sex tourism is not strict enough. There are several tasks which can be improved by the tourism industry itself like:
- The Government should encourage the travel industry to implement Code of Conduct.
- There can be Funds or public awareness campaigns.
- Train law enforcement on the issue.
- Be sure that border and airport officials report any suspected cases of child trafficking.
Experts estimate that there are more than one million children are sold into the sex trade each year. Many are forced into prostitution by their parents or by homelessness and poverty. Many in rural areas are promised respectable jobs in different destinations and then forced into the sex trade. There are people like Kenneth Robert Klassen which are charged with 14 counts of invitation to sexual touching. The charges of child sex and/ or sex trade are from five to ten years. It is one of the worst things where you can go through during your childhood. There are families which do sell their small daughters for the money but I would rather say it hurts much more than starving yourself. There are so many laws towards every aspect; There should be a strict tourism law against child sex tourism in all the destinations so that children can be safe all over the world.
DR WIDODO JUDARWANTO
FIGHT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND PEDOPHILIA
JL TAMAN BENDUNGAN ASAHAN 5 JAKARTA PUSAT, JAKARTA INDONESIA 10210
PHONE : (021) 70081995 – 5703646
email : firstname.lastname@example.org,
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