INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tourists asked to report Child Sex Overseas

Published: Wed 25 Oct 2006 03:49 PM
Press Release: ECPAT NZ
Tourists asked to report Child Sex Overseas
ECPAT New Zealand has launched an initiative to try to raise awareness about child sex tourism to New Zealand travellers.
ECPAT New Zealand is an international organisation committed to eliminating child sex tourism, trafficking, child pornography and general exploitation around the world.
"The biggest problem at the moment is that while the child sex industry is booming and many travellers are witnessing the effects, most are unaware that there is something they can do about it," states Jane Foster, co-ordinator of the organisation.
In 2005 ECPAT New Zealand launched a reporting website that witnesses could go to in the event that they might see suspicious behavious towards children overseas or in New Zealand.
The website, www.reportchildsex.com, is a simple communication channel where witnesses can anonymously report on the description of the suspects, places and children involved.
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The report is sent directly to the ECPAT NZ office who then proceed to moniter the situation with the appropriate authorities.
"Our initial focus is to get law enforcement and child welfare agencies on the ground to reach the children. Then we can work with them on prosecuting the paedophiles involved."
In 1996 ECPAT NZ successfully lobbied the government and passed legislation which allowed New Zealand travellers to be prosecuted in New Zealand for child exploitation crimes committed overseas. However, no prosecutions have been made to this date.
Due to a lack of research and investigation into the issue there are no reliable statistics for the child sex industry worldwide although most sources heavily state that over a million children are involved.
For more information visit www.ecpat.org.nz.
ENDS

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