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Child-Sex Tourism (CST) Awareness Program
Sukosol Hotels is proud to work in conjunction with ECPAT International to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Thailand. Please read on to learn about the problem and what you too can do to help stop the spread of this heinous crime.
What is child-sex tourism?
Child-sex tourism (CST) is the commercial sexual exploitation of children by people who travel from one place to another and, while there, engage in sexual acts with people under 18 years old. Often, they travel from a richer country to one that is less developed, but child-sex tourists may also travel within their own countries or region.
Who are the victims of child-sex tourism?
Thailand is a source, transit and destination country for trafficked children for sexual purposes and labour. According to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the general trends show a decline of Thai children being exploited in local sex businesses. Thai children are now being trafficked abroad to countries such as Japan and Australia, while the number of foreign children trafficked into Thailand for sexual exploitation is reportedly increasing. Boys and girls from Myanmar, Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Laos and Vietnam, as well as from ethnic minorities living in Northern Thailand are trafficked to larger Thai cities for sexual exploitation.
Perpetrators of CST
Child-sex tourists can be domestic travellers or international tourists, as well as business travellers. Some travelling sex offenders target only young children. However, most are situational abusers who do not usually have a sexual preference for children, but take advantage of a situation in which a child or adolescent is available to them. Far away from home and social norms, they feel safe enough to act out their sexual fantasies with children.
Penalties provided by Thai law
Thailand does not have national laws specifically addressing child-sex tourism. However, travelling child-sex offenders and those who assist or facilitate child-sex tourism can be prosecuted under the Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act BE 2539. This Act covers a number of offences related to child prostitution and enables prosecution of people who procure, seduce or traffic a person to commit that act of prostitution; those who commit sexual intercourse or any other act with a person under 18; parents of children under 18 who now of or connive to have a child procured, seduced or taken away for imprisonment; and owners, supervisors and managers of prostitution businesses or establishment who prostitute children under 18. The penalty for committing sexual intercourse with a child with or without consent is 1 to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 20,000 to 60,000 THB. If the child is under 15, the offender will face 2 to 6 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 40,000 to 120,000 THB.
What can you do?
At home: ask your travel agent whether they have signed the “Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism”. At your holiday destination: if you receive offers or notice anything suspicious report the incident to your hotel or travel guide/agent; inform your closest diplomatic mission and (in Thailand) call the 1300 hotline. Should you receive offers from a citizen of your own country, report it to the authorities in your country and report it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CST is a prosecutable crime
Several countries have enacted extra-territorial laws which enable them to prosecute their citizens for crimes against children even if they are committed outside the home country. Many of these laws do not require that the act being charge be a crime in the country where it was committed.
In December 2007, a Dutch national was arrested on child-sex abuse charges at his rented home in Hua Hin. In July 2009, a court ruled that the 52-year-old Dutch National and a 35-year-old Thai man were guilty of taking a boy from his parents on several occasions between March and December 2007, with the intention of carrying out sexual abuse. The Dutch man was sentenced to a 37-year jail term, the Thai national to 26 years and 8 months.
ECPAT International is a global network of organisations and individuals working for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking in children for sexual purposes. ECPAT has affiliates and national groups in more than 70 countries. It seeks to ensure that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental rights, free and secure from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation. For more information, contact ECPAT International:
Add: 328 Phayathai Road, Ratchatewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2215 3388, 2611 0972
Fax: +66 (0) 2215 8272