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UNICEF: Legislation measures discussed in attempts to curb the problem

By Magdalene Tong, Agence France-Presse

Published: 20 Mar 2019 - 12:26 PM

Picture of delegate presenting his ideas to the members of UNICEF

Picture of delegate presenting his ideas to the members of UNICEF

As the first session of today unfolds, the members of UNICEF focused on the topic “Combating Child Sex Tourism”, suggesting possible legislation measures that can be implemented to deal with the offenders. At the same time, several loopholes in the current legislation were addressed by the members.

Firstly, the use of international databases has been suggested. Delegates, such as the delegate of China, mentioned that previous child sex offenders can be labeled as a child sex offender on the database, reminding other countries to look out for such offenders, preventing them from going back to their old ways in the future. With such collaboration across countries, offenders can be better dealt with and supervised, lowering the amount of sexual offenders that have not been prosecuted.

Secondly, the delegate of Venezuela pointed out a very important point, mentioning how child sex tourism does not just apply to girls, but also boys. In 2007, Venezuela passed a law protecting women’s rights, including the trafficking of girls or sending them for prostitution. However, rights of the men should be upheld as well. As such, the delegate of Venezuela urge the countries to pass laws regardless of gender of victims, prioritising both male and female victims.

Thirdly, delegates discussed about the loopholes in the current legislation.

Delegates, such as the delegate of Egypt, mentioned that 44% of the victims are forced into child sex trade, yet ended up getting punished as criminals. He pointed out that many countries do not have clear or strict laws to deal with sexual offenders, often allowing them to escape from law. As a result, many child sex cases are settled out of court and allowing the offenders to escape from the punishment they deserve. This would encourage ex-offenders to be engaged back into the child sex industry again in the future.

Lastly, delegates suggested that UNICEF can collaborate with agencies to deal with the offenders. The delegate of Mexico suggested that the Agency for countering Child Exploitation (ACE) under UNICEF can search for cases of corruptions, alleged cases of child sex and cases where civil servants exploit children for sex. Undercover operatives part of ACE would be the ones carrying such operations. The other thing is a panel of specialists known as Anti-Trafficking Advisory Specialists (ATAS) with fields of expertise such as but not limited to Economics, Military Operations, Crime and Investigation, Education, Construction, Communication and Environment.

As the session comes to a close, members of the Council will continue to work hard and come up with a draft resolution that will encompass all the measures that they have said to tackle the problem of Child Sex Tourism.