[Stop-traffic] News/Asia - children / sex tourism

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Asia - children / sex tourism
From: Jyothi Kanics (jyothi@odihr.osce.waw.pl)
Date: Fri Jan 01 1904 - 15:41:28 EST


Asia's child sex victims ignored

Children who have been sexually abused in Asian
               countries are badly neglected by grossly inadequate
               health and social services according to two United
               Nations reports.

               The research, unveiled in Bangkok found victims of
               abuse as young as four.

               The UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia
               and the Pacific (ESCAP) said Asian governments are
               failing the children caught up in the region's sex

               The report highlights the
               failure of social services in
               countries like Thailand,
               Cambodia and Vietnam to
               provide adequate
               psychological support for
               child victims of rape and
               incest, or for those used
               as prostitutes or in

               While the physical health
               of the child victims is
               sometimes dealt with,
               psychological assistance to help them overcome the
               trauma of sexual abuse and exploitation is virtually


               Nanda Krairiksh, from ESCAP human resources
               development section the unit which carried out some
               of the research, says it is essential the psychological
               problems are dealt with.

               "We were quite shocked in terms of the psychological

               " We didn't expect them to be so severe," she said.

               The reports on the Greater Mekong subregion and
               South Asia found sexually exploited and abused
               children often suffer mental problems such as
               depression, suicidal tendencies and substance abuse.

               Taboo subject

               While there is some public awareness of sexual
               exploitation of children, incest and child rape were
               taboo subjects in Asia which made the problem harder
               to tackle, she said.

               Poverty, lack of education,
               drug abuse and family
               problems were listed as
               contributing factors in the
               abuse and exploitation of

               In Cambodia 98% of girls in
               prostitution are the main
               providers for their families and in Vietnam 49% of girls
               in prostitution were victims of prior sexual abuse, the
               studies found.

               Some 80% of sexually exploited children in Thailand
               were from dysfunctional families and 31% had been
               victims of sexual abuse.

               Many Asian governments would rather ignore the
               issue than admit they had a problem with sexual
               abuse and exploitation of children, Nanda Krairiksh
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