Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Pub. Jan 15, 1998 Published January 15, 1998

In January 1998 the CBSS report on “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children” was launched.

As described in a CBSS newsletter, the report

“… found that in the region the awareness of the problem of child prostitution* and pornography* is relatively recent. In some countries the situation is worrying. Decisive measures against the exploitation of children and the prevention of a possible further deterioration of the situation are urgent tasks for the member states.

According to the report, in some countries terms “child prostitution” and “child pornography” only relate to the persons below the age of 14. Almost all member states lack a special provision in their Penal Code about commercial sexual exploitation of children. In this respect, the Expert Group recommended that the member states make all forms of possession of child pornography (children under the age of 18) a crime.

In many countries the child is not sufficiently protected during the investigation phase and/or during the court proceeding. The Group recommended that sexual offences against children be made subject to ex officio public prosecution in all member states. Furthermore, the Expert Group recommended that the member states abolish the principle of dual criminality regarding sexual crimes against children.

The issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children was recommended to be included in the curricula of the schools for social workers and of the Police Academies. The Group urged countries to join the Interpol Standing Working Party on Offences against Children. The countries were recommended to exchange information on, e.g., known and suspected criminals, etc.”

* Kindly note that these terms are outdated. For guidance on modern terminology around child sexual abuse and exploitation, including child sexual abuse images, please refer to the ECPAT Luxembourg Guidelines.

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