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Parents accused of selling their own children

Parents accused of selling their own children

A total of 66 men and women face charges for the rape and abuse of babies and young children in the town of Angers, France this week. The paedophile ring was said to have been run by two former convicted sex offenders. According to the prosecution, nearly 50 children were raped and abused, between 1999 and 2001, after being sold by their parents for money, food or cigarettes.

The Director of ECPAT NZ, Alan Bell, was disgusted by both the alleged actions of the parents and of the many men who took advantage of these vulnerable children.

"The sexual exploitation, abuse and humiliation of any child in exchange for favours, material goods or money should never be tolerated by society today.

"The parents and other adults involved let these children down in the most despicable way. Children have the right to be protected by their family and should never experience the emotional, physical or psychological pain the victims of this abuse may possibly feel for the rest of their lives."

Bell believes that this case in France highlights the fact that the commercial sexual exploitation of children is a global issue and that all countries need to be aware of the problem.

He stresses that all forms of child abuse are damaging and responsible members of the public should learn to recognise the signs.

According to reports on the French case, there was a failure, even by social workers, to spot what was going on. Bell emphasises the importance of speaking to the appropriate agencies when any form of abuse is suspected.

ECPAT NZ is part of a global network working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children everywhere.

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