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Progress Against Sexual Exploitation In Asia - UN

Asian Countries Report On Progress In Fighting Child Sexual Exploitation – UNICEF

Three years after Asian countries committed themselves to fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children, new initiatives in the region are leading the way in countering the scourge, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today.

Representatives from more than 20 East Asian and Pacific countries met over the last three days in Bangkok to report on new measures and improvements to existing procedures designed to protect youngsters, help victims and punish exploiters.

The meeting was a follow up to the 2001 East Asia and Pacific Regional Consultation against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, which was held to provide input to the World Congress on that topic held later that year in Yokohama, Japan.

Among the regional efforts is the world’s first multi-country Memorandum of Understanding against trafficking, which covers the prevention of trafficking; the repatriation, rehabilitation and sensitive treatment of victims; and the extradition and prosecution of exploiters. Participants in the agreement, signed last month in Myanmar, include Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Despite such progress, UNICEF said, the lack of reliable data remains a major obstacle to implementing well-targeted and effective measures to stop the sex trade in children. New research designed to address this shortcoming and better support the need for monitoring was also presented and discussed at the conference.

The meeting also considered strategies to stop the exponential rise in child pornography on the Internet, which, through the development of new technologies such as digital cameras and mobile phones, has increased the spread of such images.

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