by the Inter-American Children's Institute
updated June 30, 2001
on the Situation Of Commercial Sexual Exploitation
of Children And Adolescents in the Americas
Ariel Gustavo Forselledo
Coordinator of the
Program on the Integral Promotion of Children's Rights
June 1999, the General Assembly of the Organization of American
States (OAS), at its twenty-ninth regular session, held in Guatemala,
adopted a resolution (AG3804/99) “to instruct the Inter-American
Children’s Institute to deal systematically with the problem of
the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in the region
(...) in coordination with other organs, agencies, and entities
of the United Nations system and other relevant organizations,
in such a way as to propose the development of strategies and
plans of action aimed at preventing and combating this scourge.”
General Assembly also assigned the Inter-American Children's Institute
(IIN) the preparation of an annual report to be presented to the
Secretary General of the OAS, reporting the actions taken by the
Member States to combat commercial and other sexual exploitation
of children and adolescents.
the year 2000, the IACI presented its first report to the Secretary
General, which incorporated the opinions of the governments of
the region and traced a panorama of the situation on this subject.
present report is based on consultations at the governmental level
about the actions taken by the Member States to follow up on the
1996 Stockholm Agenda for Action, in anticipation of the Second
World Congress Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and
Adolescents, to be held in Yokohama, Japan, December 17-20, 2001.
issue of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in the
Americas is a great challenge for the inter-American community,
because it involves social, economic, political and cultural realities
that are very dissimilar. Even so, and in all cases, this problem
continues to be one of the most devastating of contemporary tragedies.
invisibility and defenselessness of the victims, as well as the
lack of public debate and responses from the State to commercial
and non-commercial sexual exploitation of children as well as
child pornography, are some of the most serious features of this
present, inexplicable form of slavery.
any case, we may affirm that the phenomenon exists in all countries
of the inter-American system, although with differing intensity
and characteristics. At the same time, trafficking of children
for sexual purposes is also a compelling reality about which there
is a lack of objective information.
State and Civil Society have entered the new millennium with a
lot of “good intentions” to attempt to combat a phenomenon that
makes human beings into merchandise, specifically children and
adolescents in circumstances of greater risk and vulnerability.
is certain that an ethical-political movement was born with the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, but its greatest encouragement
in the operative field comes from civil society organizations.
This encouragement is transformed into a process that slowly but
progressively reaches governmental levels and involves international
mentioned earlier, the first sign that commercial and non-commercial
sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is being recognized
as a flagrant violation of their human rights, is the almost universal
ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of
the Child, adopted in 1989.
than a decade after the Convention was adopted, a second response
emerged, with the intention of going from theory to practice.
This was the World Congress held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1996,
where the 122 participating countries agreed to establish national
plans of action against sexual exploitation, with indicators of
progress, adoption of measures and deadlines, and allotment of
resources for the proper implementation of the measures.
this context, the Inter-American Children's Institute (IIN), as
a specialized organization of the Organization of American States
(OAS) in child, adolescent and family affairs, gathered the interest
and concern of its Member States about the problem of sexual exploitation
of children, and, in 1998, became actively involved in addressing
IIN's Integral Children's Rights Promotion Program, through its
Area on Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, has developed
a Prototype of Targeted Public Policies and a corresponding Model
Plan of Action to promote measures for the integral protection
of children and adolescents against Commercial and Non-commercial
Sexual Exploitation in the region. The Area also promotes projects
in different fields, such as research, prevention, treatment,
rehabilitation, law enforcement, legal adjustment, and public
process has been made possible by the approval of the IIN Strategic
Plan 2000-2004 by the Directing Council of the Institute, at its
75th meeting held in Ottawa, Canada, in June 2000.
example of this is the progress that has been made in cooperation
with some Latin American governments in the formulation and implementation
of their Plans of Action, as well as the attempt to coordinate
some activities with international organizations working on the
issue of Sexual Exploitation in the region of the Americas. We
should especially mention the cases of ECPAT and Focal Point,
organizations with which the OAS, through the IIN, has established
cooperation agreements that have been very valuable in giving
continuity to the progress made in the struggle against the commercial
and non-commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
Development of an Instrument
For the development
of the present report, the IIN prepared a consultation for all
of the Delegates of the OAS Member States to the Directing Council
of the IIN, as well as the Directors of the countries' Governing
Bodies on Child Affairs.
criteria established in the Stockholm Agenda for Action, the following
areas were considered:
I. Area of Coordination
II. Area of
III. Area of
IV. Area of
Recovery and Reintegration.
V. Area of Participation.
a protocol of 42 questions that were sent by electronic mail and
fax to the above-mentioned individuals. Of these questions, 41
were closed questions with space for optional comments, and one
question was open-ended (a copy of the protocol of the survey
is included in Appendix II).
Of the 34 Member
States of the OAS, 17 responded to the survey (50%) as shown in
the Report submitted to OAS Secretary General
Dr. César Gaviria. After that date, the IIN received the
answers of Jamaica and Bolivia, which are now incorporated into
this revised version. The
survey results are presented below.
the Area of Coordination and Cooperation of the Stockholm Agenda
of Plans of Action
Of all the countries
that responded to the survey, 47.4% stated that they do have National
Plans of Action Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and
Adolescents; 52.6% stated that they do not yet have Plans; 47.4%
stated that they have defined objectives and timelines; and 36.8%
stated that they have planned mechanisms for implementation, supervision
and evaluation (figure 1).
Percentage of countries with Plans of Action
their part, 47.4% of the countries include the participation
of civil society in their National Plans of Action: 36.8% in the
area of planning, 47.4% in the area of execution, and 31.6% in
the area of evaluation (figure 2).
Categories of civil society participation
on Plans of Action
Below are the comments made by some of the countries
that responded to the consultation, with respect to this information
(sources are listed in Appendix I):
National Child and Family Council (CNMF) is working toward local
and provincial adhesion to the National Plan of Action.
Plan of Action is made up of the National Plan for the Eradication
of Child Labor.
National Plan to Address Sexual Violence Against Children and
Youth, coordinated by the Ministry of Justice/DCA, was prepared
by a Committee made up of representatives of this agency, as well
as four non-governmental organizations that are part of a network
to address the problem, articulated by ECPAT Brazil and UNICEF,
using the input of the network for a continual process of two
years of work. This network is made up of public agencies from
the three spheres and the three State branches, as well as non-governmental
organizations working in the field. One hundred and thirty institutions
from the network participated in the final discussion of the Plan,
having also involved the most central international organizations
and five youth representatives, including some who had experienced
Canada does not have a NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION AGAINST THE COMMERCIAL
AND NON-COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS,
it does still support the principles of the Stockholm Agenda for
has an integrated strategy that it considers more suitable to
the country's federal structure. Also, although legislation on
child welfare is provincial, an interdepartmental federal group
was created after the Stockholm Congress to monitor the issue.
policy of the current government includes several actions to address
this problem: 1) Peace-Building and Family Living – “Haz Paz”
(Make Peace) – with the components of Prevention, Detection and
Care for family violence and child abuse; 2) Inter-institutional
Committee to combat trafficking of women and children; and 3)
Design and application of models of care for victims of sex crimes.
intends to articulate these plans of action. In 1997, a plan of
action in favor of the rights of sexually exploited children and
against sexual exploitation of children was designed; the results
are currently being evaluated and consolidated.
PLAN OF IMMEDIATE ACTION AGAINST THE COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS was adopted in April 2000 by the National
Child and Adolescent Council and is being executed by the non-governmental
institutions and organizations that make up the National Commission
Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents
(CONACOES). They are currently in the process of defining priorities
for the year 2001.
is also a NATIONAL AGENDA FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS for the
2000-2001 period, which includes goals and commitments relative
to "Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors.”
national Plan was designed in 1999, but its implementation has
not been made effective, due to a lack of mechanisms such as funding
sources, inter-institutional coordination, and timelines for activities,
Salvadoran Institute for Child Protection (ISPM) has participated
as a member of the ECPAT El Salvador Network Against the Commercial
and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, through the
Child Protection Agency and the Preventive Care Division, carrying
out direct intervention in the population.
PGN is currently coordinating a Commission to work on the design
of a Plan of Action.
country does not have a Plan of Action, but does plan to implement
one based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
country has begun the process of preparing a Public Policy and
a National Plan of Action. Representatives from civil society
are participating in this process.
country has a Board on Commercial and Non-Commercial Sexual Exploitation
States of America
United States has a NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION AGAINST THE COMMERCIAL
AND NON-COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS,
with definite objectives and a timeline of activities.
the country is a Federation of States, the State Department is
only in the position to respond from the perspective of the federal
government, and not from that of the individual states.
mechanisms for ensuring implementation, supervision and evaluation
are carried out through annual reports and the vigilance of Congress.
civil society participation is included, it is not in conjunction
with the State per se;
however, it is through public opinion.
and Non-commercial Sexual Exploitation is part of the National
Plan for the Protection of Children and Adolescents. There is
no specific plan on the issue.
terms of studies on the issue, 89.51% of the countries that responded
stated that they have studied the problem significantly. Of these,
63.5% place an emphasis on sexual abuse, 84.2% emphasize sexual
exploitation, and 63.1% focus on sexual violence (figure 3). Also,
84.2% stated that they have made the results public, although
only 36.8% of them have databases.
Percentage of countries where studies were done,
and the thematic emphasis of those studies
on Studies and Databases
the year 2001, a database will be created within the Child and
Adolescent Social Observatory (a project being run under the CNMF
jointly with PROAME, SIEMPRO and UNESCO) and will include the
problem of sexual exploitation as one of its indicators.
specialized national database has been developed jointly by the
Ministry of Justice, UNICEF and CECRIA, and may be consulted on
the Internet at www.mi.gov.br/cecria or www.cecria.org.br. A National
Network of Information on Sexual Violence Against Children and
Adolescents has been established as a decentralized space for
the articulation of databases. Until April 2001, information will
be fed into this network in a decentralized manner in the five
geographic regions of Brazil.
terms of databases on Sexual Exploitation, Canada stated that
it has not created a specific database on this issue. Different
levels of government, as well as universities and institutes,
are carrying out research on the issue. For example:
study of the impact of child abuse and neglect also covers sexual
abuse as one of the forms of abuse. The data in this study are
compiled in the Health Canada database.
is also a gender analysis of sexual exploitation of children and
adolescents, also available from Health Canada.
book on the Best Practices in Sex Education, for educators and
public health professionals, has been developed as a resource
for officers working in programs to combat sexual exploitation,
among others. This document was produced by “Status of Women Canada.”
Canada and Health Canada have also produced studies. One example
is the preliminary estimate of the costs of sexual abuse in Canada.
terms of studies on commercial and non-commercial sexual exploitation
of children and adolescents, there is an information system that
includes all of the situations in which children's rights are
threatened, including sexual abuse. The results of the execution
of the 1997 plan have not yet been evaluated and systematized.
country is currently in the process of collecting information
in order to create a database on the subject. CONACOES has already
prepared and approved an instrument for compiling this information.
country is in the process of installing databases on the issue.
is processed manually and individually by each institution, although
efforts are being made to build a single protocol for care.
country has not yet considered doing studies on the issue, as
there have not been a significant number of cases reported.
study has been done on institutional experiences with respect
to sexual and other abuse of children.
have been produced for fathers and mothers who have been sexually
States of America
results of the studies on Commercial and Non-commercial Sexual
Exploitation of Children and Adolescents have not been made public,
but the projects are in the process of execution. These research
projects are carried out through grants from the Office of Justice
Programs (the National Institute of Justice, the Violence Against
Women Office, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
specific databases have been created on the issue or by case.
Databases and files on child abuse and abandonment are available
through the Government's National Criminal Justice Research Service.
National Council for Rights, an entity that includes the State
and Civil Society, is finalizing the Strategic Plan 2001, containing
a study and databases.
Allotment of Resources
for Plans of Action
allotment of resources seems to be a weak point. Only 42.1% of
the countries that responded to the survey stated that they have
allotted additional resources for the National Plan of Action;
36.8% have not allotted any resources at all, and 10.5% do not
have information on this particular question. Also, only 5.3%
of the countries stated that they consider these allotted resources
to be sufficient, and 31.6% stated that they are in fact not sufficient.
Comments on Allotment
the Plan was launched, the Child and Adolescent Department's Multi-annual
Plan for 2000-2003 had already been designed by the National Plan's
coordinating entity, with additional funds.
there is no specific plan of action, Canada has allotted special
funds for the above-mentioned studies, as well as for the prevention
of related criminal activities and citizen security. In June 1998,
Justice Canada and Canada's Solicitor General launched the second
phase of the National Strategy for Community Security and Crime
Prevention, providing $32 million a year for five years to develop
community-based prevention projects. Justice Canada will also
provide $20 million in the next four years towards federal initiatives
and programs for victims.
country is currently in the process of defining the budget, which
will include items for specific projects.
country is currently in a period of change and funds have not
been allotted for the Plan. There is a willingness to contemplate
investing in support for social policies, although through individual,
have not yet been allotted because the Plan of Action has not
yet been defined.
States of America
resources have been defined to give sustainability to the Plan
of Action. These resources are sufficient for the federal research
and training agencies.
Child Protection Plan receives financial support from the Inter-American
Adjustment of National
the countries that responded, 47.4% stated that their national
legislation has been adjusted to incorporate the Plan of Action,
and 63.1% stated that new legislation has been created on the
Criminal Code includes several provisions on this issue. Section
3, titled "Crimes Against Sexual Integrity,” in accordance
with part 2 of the international agreement, establishes that these
offenses will be punished by reclusion or prison for a period
of six months to four years. When the duration or circumstances
of the abuse have resulted in a particularly harmful degradation
of the victim, the sentence will be from four to ten years of
reclusion or prison. This crime may also be aggravated, which
would increase the sentence
to eight to twenty years of reclusion or prison, if the abuse
resulted in serious damage to the physical or mental health o
the victim. There are also aggravating factors for this sentence
(article 120), when the offenses are committed against a person
under the age of sixteen. Article 125 makes specific reference
to the corruption of minors under the age of eighteen years: the
article states that, even with the consent of the victim, the
crime would be punishable by three to ten years of reclusion or
prison. The sentence will be from six to fifteen years of reclusion
or prison if the victim is under thirteen years of age.
3 is more specific in terms of sentences for behavior described
by the agreements, such as:
Corruption of Minors.
Prostitution of Minors.
Trafficking of Persons for the Purpose of Prostitution.
there are the provisions of Section 5, titled “Crimes Against
Freedom,” which refer to crimes against individual freedom, in
agreement with Part 1 of Convention 182.
129 states that the obscene exhibition of minors will be punished
with a sentence of six months to four years in prison.
legislation has been adjusted to incorporate the above-mentioned
strategies, through the following changes:
C-7 is an amendment to the Criminal Records Act that received
Royal Assent on March 30, 2000, and which provides for the automatic
revocation of pardon upon subsequent conviction.
C-27 is an amendment to the Criminal Code (including child prostitution,
sex tourism, criminal harassment and female genital mutilation),
which entered into force on May 26, 1997. This Bill is especially
aimed at sex tourism, and includes criminal proceedings against
Canadian citizens who have engaged in sexual activities with children
C-51 is another amendment to the Criminal Code that permits the
Police to use electronic means to investigate organized prostitution
telephone lines, and also extends the powers of Justice to forbid
accused persons from having contact with the victims or witnesses.
C-40 is related to extradition, amending the Canada Evidence Act,
the Criminal Code, the Immigration Act, and the Mutual Legal Assistance
in Criminal Matters Act. This Bill makes the process of extradition
more accessible for other countries and allows the use of video
and audio technology to provide testimonies by witnesses both
in Canada and abroad.
changes are in the process of being made. For example, Justice
Canada has published a document titled “Child Victims and the
Criminal Justice System” as part of its project on the
victimization of children.
legislation has been adjusted to incorporate the Plan of Action
on the issue. To this end, sentences for this crime have been
extended, laws 294/96, 360/97 and 575/99 have been processed,
and there is currently discussion about protocols to prevent,
suppress and punish trafficking of women and children and to combat
transnational organized crime.
legislation on the subject is represented by the Reform to the
Colombian Criminal Code and the International Agreements that
strive to fight this scourge, as well as proposals for the modification
of existing laws.
changes have been made to the existing criminal code, including
the creation of new penalties. There are also other bills relative
to the issue.
terms of the adjustment of legislation, when the Plan of Action
was prepared, a legal framework was already in place: Laws 14-94
country maintains that there is a need to carry out sensitization
work at decision-making levels in order to incorporate the Plan
of Action. Bills of law have been prepared with respect to the
penalization of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and
action will be taken in accordance with the Convention on the
Rights of the Child and other relevant child-related laws.
the Federal level, adjustment of legislation has been partial;
at the State level, it has not yet been done.
27 of 1995 has been created, and on February 7, 2001, it was subject
to a first debate on reform in Parliament.
States of America
adjustment of national legislation to incorporate the Plan of
Action is under constant review and amendment processes. The United
States has created new legislation on the sexual exploitation
of children and adolescents, through the continuous procedures
of reviewing the lines taken by statutory and case law on the
Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division
of the Department of Justice is the entity responsible for handling
the issue of sexual exploitation for the country.
terms of adjustment of national legislation to incorporate the
Plan of Action, the House of Representatives Commission on Constitution,
Legislation and Codes is currently discussing a bill on the issue.
respect to new legislation on children, the new Child and Adolescent
Code is pending approval.
Charter on the Protection of Children and Adolescents (LOPNA)
includes the issue.
the countries that responded to the survey, 42.1% stated that
there has been greater and better coordination of international
cooperation in the use of resources for the Plan of Action; 21%
claimed the contrary, and 15.8% did not have information on the
National Plan to Address Sexual Violence is a reference for all.
This Plan has already been discussed at a National Forum (and
also in State fora) for the Eradication of Child Labor, with the
participation of UNICEF, the ILO and USAID/Pommar, as well as
UNIFEM (through representation of the Ministry of Justice, which,
under a cooperation agreement with UNIFEM, develops its work of
advocacy for the rights of young women in situations of sexual
abuse and exploitation).
international organizations have made proposals to support the
effort made by the Plan, in an inter-institutional manner.
actions with UNICEF, which is the agency supporting sexual exploitation
actions in the country.
cooperation institutions are part of the Board on Sexual Exploitation.
Allotment of More Resources for the Plan of Action
the countries that responded to the survey, 63.1% stated that,
in the past year, they have assigned more resources for the Plan;
31.6% have not.
Government of Brazil has established the Program to Prevent and
Combat Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Adolescents
for the 2000-2003 period. In the year 2000, mindful of the already-launched
National Plan, the resources were supplemented by the Secretariat
of State for Social Assistance.
has been done to integrate inter-institutional resources to better
take advantage of them and to achieve better results together.
have been allotted through international cooperation channels
such as IPEC/ILO and Radda Barnen of Sweden.
national and international resources have been allotted to address
this subject last year.
ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour
(IPEC) has been supporting a Project to Care for Victims of Sexual
Exploitation in coordination with the National Institute for Family
cooperation resources for work on this issue have been given directly
to NGOs and not to the National Institute for Minors.
Existence of a Specific Entity or Program on the Issue
the countries that responded, 73.7% stated that their governing
bodies on child affairs have a specific entity or program on the
problem of sexual exploitation.
National Child and Family Council (CNMF) has training, sensitization
and information courses on commercial and sexual exploitation
targeted at professionals and workers in the field of children.
is a bureau and a national sub-commission to address the subject.
does not have an executive agency that coordinates comprehensive
child care. The National Council for Child and Adolescent Rights
is a deliberative body responsible for formulating the guidelines
for national policies and controlling the work at all levels.
As mentioned above, the government of Brazil established the Program
to Prevent and Combat Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
and Adolescents for the 2000-2003 period. In the year 2000, mindful
of the already- launched National Plan, the resources were supplemented
by others from the Program for the Prevention and Eradication
of Child Labor (PETI), under the management of the Secretariat
of State for Social Assistance.
terms of the existence of a Department or Program to handle the
issue of Sexual Exploitation in the governing body on child affairs,
Canada has an Interdepartmental Committee that examines the activities
and programs being run throughout the country to combat the sexual
exploitation of children and adolescents and the sex trade. Presiding
over the Committee is Senator Landon Pearson, in her role as advisor
on Children's Rights to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
governing body on child and adolescent affairs is the NATIONAL
CHILD COUNCIL. This institution includes various entities that
handle the issue directly: the Technical Secretariat for Protection,
which supervises, advises and gives technical orientations to
the Non-governmental Organizations under contract to care for
persons affected by Commercial Sexual Exploitation. Also, the
Local Office in San José was created to care for children at social
risk. The Promotion Area is in charge of advisory services and
administration of the Child and Adolescent Protection Councils.
The National Child Council coordinates the Executing Agency of
the Costa Rican National Commission Against the Commercial Sexual
Exploitation of Children and Adolescents (CONACOES), which is
an entity that proposes, plans and monitors national activities
included in the Plan of Action.
is a governing body on child affairs in the country, but the work
done in the field of sexual exploitation is neither continuous
Salvadoran Institute for Child Protection (ISPM), the governing
body on child and adolescent affairs, runs preventive and care
programs relative to Sexual Exploitation.
country has an entity in the Governing Body , although not exclusively
dedicated to Sexual Exploitation.
Ministry for the Promotion of Women and Human Development (PROMUDEH)
is the governing body on child and adolescent affairs, and has
a normative organ and an Office of the Manager of Promotion of
Children and Adolescents, as well as an executing organ, the INABIF,
which is responsible for the issue of Sexual Exploitation.
Working Group, with both State and Civil Society participation,
has been planned to address the issue of Sexual Exploitation.
the Area of Prevention
respect to the Area of Prevention, 68.4% of the countries stated
that they have developed preventive information campaigns aimed
at increasing public understanding of the issue, while 26.3% have
Comments on the Approaches Taken by Prevention Campaigns
the contents of the campaigns have been designed; the country
hopes to implement them during the year 2001, in an inter-sectoral
manner at the governmental level.
permanent national campaigns have been carried out. The first
campaign is especially focused on the area of sexual abuse and
exploitation of children and adolescents, articulated by a National
System of Receipt, Treatment, Accompaniment, Monitoring and Evaluation
of Reports of Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents.
This operates a national confidential reporting line, which is
toll-free at 0800 99 0500. This System, part of the Ministry of
Justice, is operated jointly with a specialized NGO called “Abrapia.”
The campaign is supported by videos, audio tapes, posters and
brochures. The second campaign is developed by the Brazilian Pediatric
Society and focuses on violence against children and adolescents.
It is targeted more toward health and legal professionals. Also,
various regional campaigns have been carried out in the five geographic
regions of Brazil.
work has been done with the financial support of “Status of Women
Canada,” aimed at developing public awareness on the issue. Educational
campaigns have also been developed on issues related to life on
the streets, business and sexual exploitation, as well as violence
is making efforts to increase awareness among diplomatic personnel
stationed abroad about the country's extraterritorial laws.
of the objectives of the international cooperation effort involved
in “Out of the Shadows, Into the Light” is to increase knowledge
about the scope and scale of sexual exploitation of children,
and to change public attitudes about the acceptability and inevitability
of children and adolescents involved in the Canadian sex market.
approach and materials used for prevention include:
The above-mentioned book for educators and public health
Training sessions for youth agencies and service providers.
Sensitization of politicians and government representatives
about the issue.
Workshops with street children.
actions used an educational approach, aimed at encouraging cultural
change through the sensitization of students, community leaders,
the national police force, and employees of State entities and
approach has been one of restitution and validation of the rights
of children and adolescents, using a preventive approach in the
affected population; using a sensitizing approach in the population
in general, visualizing commercial sexual exploitation as one
of the worst forms of slavery in contemporary times, which violates
rights; and using a repressive approach with exploiters and procurers.
include posters, diverse signs, audiovisual material, radio and
television publicity, signs, images, press conferences, information
on the Internet, etc.
terms of educational campaigns, the media (radio, television and
newspapers) were used to reach the population of NNA community
leaders, teachers, and the community in general. Signs were put
up, notices were targeted to tourists, and there was an effort
to sensitize the population. Also, the month of April was declared
“National Child Abuse Prevention Month.”
approach has been educational, informative and focused on reporting
offenses. There have been posters, workshops, fora, panels, training
and conferences on the issue.
Children's Defender and the Attorney for Human Rights, as well
as PRONICE (NGOs) have developed activities and posters for public
information and sensitization.
have been, and continue to be, carried out to raise public awareness
about Children's Rights.
means of a Child Support Unit prevention campaigns were carried
out . The Ministry of Health has available radio programs to this
purpose , although they are neither sustained nor intensive.
efforts have been made by non-governmental institutions and organizations,
using the radio and print media.
issue has been made public through the use of signs, brochures
and radio programs. The focus has been to sensitize the population
about the existence of this social problem.
approach has focused on the dissemination of educational modules
and the preparation of the Manual of Norms and Procedures for
Comprehensive Care. Various documents have also been printed.
States of America
work to increase public understanding of the issue has been done
through Internet security campaigns aimed at schools and parents'
organizations. There are also programs being implemented to establish
a public anti-trafficking service and assistance to NGOs for the
development of information brochures.
terms of measures to assist children who are vulnerable or at
greater risk, the country has developed specific programs for
Economic and Social Measures to Help Children at Social Risk
the countries that responded, 73.7% have developed economic and
social programs or measures to help children in situations of
greater vulnerability or social risk, and the other 26.3% have
country has established measures through the Program for the Strengthening
of Family Ties.
country has implemented economic measures, but they are not sufficient.
measures taken in this country are aimed at the protection of
children and adolescents who are victims of commercial sexual
NGOs, such as “Madres Oblatas” and “Casa Alianza,” have developed
programs to help children who are vulnerable or at higher risk.
is a Program for Children at risk.
Ministry of Youth, Women, Children and the Family (MINJUMNFA)
and its different Offices have developed measures for the most
country has developed a national proposal for street educators
who work with children in high-risk circumstances.
States of America
economic and social measures implemented to help children and
adolescents in situations of vulnerability or higher
are part of the assistance provided by the Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Department of Health
and Human Services.
INAME has a series of care programs for street children.
the tourist zones of Puerto La Cruz and Margarita, measures have
been implemented, but they are not permanent and do not exist
in the rest of the country.
Norms to Prevent Sexual Exploitation
terms of laws to prevent sexual exploitation, 63.1% of countries
indicated that they have developed resources that are appropriate
for this goal. Of all the countries, 78.9% have mobilized the
media, 52.6% have mobilized the private sector, and 42.1% have
also involved the tourism industry (figure 4).
Percentage of countries that developed laws for
prevention and the mobilization of prevention sectors
Comments on Legal Norms
new Code for Children and Adolescents of Bolivia includes provisions
addressed to preventing all kinds of ill-treatment, abuse and
country has a legal framework that includes the activities of
the Commission and the different levels working on behalf of children
and adolescents. This includes:
The Political Constitution of the Republic.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Law 7184.
The Child and Adolescent Code, Law 7739.
The Charter of the National Child Board, Law 7648.
The Juvenile Criminal Law Act, Law 7576.
The Family Code, Law 5456.
The Law Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
and in the Teaching Environment, Law 7476.
The Law Against Domestic Violence, Law 7586.
Reforms to the Criminal Code: The Law Against Commercial
Sexual Exploitation of Minors, Law 7899.
terms of legal norms to prevent Sexual Exploitation, the country
has the above-mentioned laws 14-94 and 24-97.
have been aimed at stricter penalization of exploiters and procurers.
Comments on the Sectors Mobilized
media, the private sector and the tourism industry have been mobilized.
Information on sex tourism involving children has been prepared
by Justice Canada and put on the website of the Department of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade – one of the websites
most frequently visited by Canadian travelers.
terms of mobilization of social actors for prevention, the National
Police Force, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic,
the Universities, Civil Society and a 24-hour Help Line are all
programs to raise awareness on the subject have been developed
for the tourism industry.
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following social actors have been mobilized for prevention:
The media, through the “1998 Internet Summit.”
The private sector, working in partnership with NGOs and
the ISP reports on child pornography.
The tourism industry, through information brochures against
sex tourism, as well as through meetings with travel groups.
the Area of Protection
respect to the Area of Protection, 100% of the countries that
responded to the consultation stated that they have appropriate
legislation to criminalize those who are directly responsible
is interesting to note that 78.9% of the countries stated that
they are applying existing legislation, while 10.5% confessed
that it is not being applied, and 5.3% stated that they do not
have information (see figure 5).
Legislation and its application
Of the countries,
84.2% criminalize service providers, clients and intermediaries;
63.1% penalize possession of child pornography; and 26.3% do not.
For their part, 78.9% of the countries penalize the national or
international trafficking of children, and 15.8% do not. As well,
26.3% include extradition in their legal framework (see figure
Measures of legal protection
the framework of MERCOSUR, the Ministry of the Interior is in
charge of the issue of Trafficking and Sale of Children.
are difficulties in the applicability of the legislation in force,
while humanitarian aspects are disregarded.
country has the above-mentioned Bills C-27 and C-51, although
legislation varies in the different provinces.
respect to possession of child pornography, after the appeal of
a court decision on the issue, the Canadian Supreme Court decided
to maintain the prohibition of the production and distribution
of pornographic material, indicating that the benefits of prohibiting
the possession of child pornography are more important than the
moral effect on the right to freedom of expression.
terms of national and international trafficking of children, Section
280-283 of Canada's Criminal Code penalizes this offense. On April
26, 2000, the Human Rights Commission approved the text of the
Draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, developed in light of growing concern about the significantly
growing problem of child trafficking for the purposes of sale,
prostitution and pornography.
respect to extradition, Canada has the above-mentioned Bill C-40.
terms of the application of current laws, the efforts to apply
them against child pornography have sometimes been impeded by
claims from some sectors that civil liberties and individual privacy
rights are being violated.
is possible for other kinds of offenses, but not for sex crimes
with the specificity of Sexual Exploitation. The country is in
the process of deciding how to classify “cyber crimes,” an issue
addressed by the Ministers of Justice at the 3rd Meeting
of the Americas and the Caribbean.
the future, the country plans to establish tougher sentences for
crimes associated with sexual exploitation, pornography and trafficking.
country's legislation was recently created, and research is required
to see if it is being applied correctly.
terms of the treatment of children and adolescents affected by
sexual exploitation, 68.4% of the countries stated that these
children receive humanitarian treatment and are considered victims,
and 52.6% stated that they guarantee support services for victims.
country does not have enough specialized officers to carry out
the care and support work.
are various care and support services in the country, but it has
not been possible to guarantee these services for all child victims.
does not guarantee support services for victims, although there
are various support services, shelters, counseling, community
centers, etc. which are available to children and adolescents
if they choose.
may affirm that, in the case of children, support services for
victims are guaranteed. This is not the case for women who are
victims of sexual exploitation.
are clear instructions that must be considered in the humanitarian
treatment of children affected by sexual exploitation. These instructions
precisely emphasize humanitarian treatment. However, within the
institutional framework, there is a need for even more sensitization
and training work to overcome social and individual myths.
are support programs for victims. There is a need for greater
maturity of the process in order to achieve this guarantee.
terms of legislation, the country is in the process of re-ordering
the institutions so that they may better apply the Law.
are also being made to strengthen all of the lines of support
country tries to guarantee support services for victims through
protection, health and insertion into the education system and/or
technical learning activities.
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terms of the guarantee of support services for victims, in most
circumstances and for a limited period of time, the term “guaranteed”
could be difficult for executing actions.
the Area of Recovery and Rehabilitation
respect to the Area of Recovery and Rehabilitation, 73.7% of the
countries have adopted a non-punitive approach to victims, while
21% have not. Also, 68.4% of the countries provide comprehensive
care to victims in legal proceedings and 47.4% have developed
measures to train those who work with victims. Of all the countries
that responded, 52.6% have implemented measures to eliminate social
stigmatization and 47.4% stated that they have effective measures
to facilitate recovery and reintegration of victims into their
families and the community (see figure 7).
Measures for Recovery and Reintegration
are starting to be implemented in this area, but are not sufficient;
the training of professionals in this issue must be strengthened.
is no definite non-punitive approach. Some consider “safehouses”
to be punitive. For example, “John schools” are an attempt to
change the perception of the consumer.
courts provide comprehensive care to victims through legal assistance
services, as well as support for victims and witnesses.
terms of training of personnel who work with victims, these workers
have been sensitized through public education campaigns. Also,
training materials have
been developed, and, more and more, young people who have participated
in the sex trade are becoming involved in victim support work.
order to eliminate the social stigmatization of victims, awareness-raising
campaigns are currently being carried out, although other educational
measures are required as well. Sexual exploitation is considered
terms of recovery and reintegration of victims into their families
and communities, these are done only when they apply to the case.
As mentioned above, early life skills and vocational training
is offered to foster community reintegration.
to train those who work with victims constitute intense work that
is still not complete. Paradigm changes do not happen immediately.
terms of the elimination of social stigmatization, this is one
of the aspects that requires a greater amount of work in Costa
Rican society, and that is related to work with preventive, dissemination,
sensitization, legal and care dimensions.
have been isolated instances of training of personnel who work
with victims and there is a need for more awareness-raising in
order to avoid the stigmatization of victims, through educational
actions. In terms of measures for recovery and reintegration,
individual actions have been carried out through NGOs.
to the lack of a National Plan of Action and the lack of application
of the legal framework, work in this area cannot be concretized.
country does have the necessary support instruments for recovery
and reintegration, but they have not yet been applied.
Board on Sexual Exploitation has made progress on the problem
and its treatment. It still needs to achieve an impact on improving
the attitudes and knowledge of workers who participate in the
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country has adopted a non-punitive approach to victims, including
respect to court proceedings, comprehensive care is provided to
victims through special federal provisions in 18 U.S.C. sec. 3509.
terms of training of personnel who work with victims, there are
the Attorney General's Guidelines for Victim Assistance, which
include mandatory training for personnel and for victim-witness
coordinators at the federal level.
the purposes of eliminating the social stigmatization of victims,
Section 3509 provides measures to preserve the privacy of minors
who are victims.
terms of recovery and reintegration of victims into their families
and communities, individual criteria are established on a case-by-case
the Area of Participation
Some progress has been made in
the Area of Participation. Of all the countries that responded,
73.7% support the creation of networks of children as advocates
of their own rights. As well, 21% give children participation
in the area of coordination and cooperation, while 57.9% do not;
57.9% give participation in the area of prevention, and
in the area of protection, while 52.6% give participation
in the areas of recovery and reintegration (see figure 8).
for participation are included in the National Plan on Child Labor.
measures and projects have been developed in the country to encourage
the participation of children and adolescents in the establishment
of networks for the defense of their rights (Bill 32; “Peer Helper
Program for Out-of-Mainstream Youth”; “Prostitute Empowerment
Education Recovery Society - PEERS” and “Out of the Shadows, Into
the Light”), as well as coordination, cooperation and prevention
(“Status of Women Canada” sponsored the study, “Poverty and the
Sexual Exploitation of Youth” to launch a campaign aimed at young
women to prevent criminals from involving them in the sex trade.
the area of reintegration, participation takes place through the
“Second Chance” project by “PEERS.”
issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children has been part
of the analysis with young people from the NATIONAL NETWORK OF
YOUNG PEOPLE AND HEALTH SECTOR PERSONNEL FOR THE PREVENTION OF
systematic strategy has been developed in this area. However,
there are numerous initiatives to give children participation
and information about their rights. Examples include the projects
“The Country We Want” and “Children Have the Floor,” as well as
the dissemination of children's rights, among others.
“Peace Leaders” component of the “Young Country” Project promotes
the organization of youth for self-advocacy in terms of rights
Peer Counselling Program was developed with the participation
of children and adolescents in prevention and rehabilitation activities.
proposals promoted by the State in coordination with civil society
consider victims of sexual exploitation to be potential allies
for contact with other victims.
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federal perspective is to work with specialized child and adolescent
organizations, sponsoring fora for NGO-Government dialogue and
the development of networks. These organizations provide opportunities
for youth participation.
RESPONSES TO THE SURVEY AND PLANS OF ACTION, BY COUNTRY