With the growth of technology, children have been made vulnerable to sexual exploitation through the internet. A number of devices such as mobile phones and laptops enable perpetrators to abuse children online and offline. The project to End Sexual Exploitation of Children Online, sponsored by the UK Government aims to protect the children of Sri Lanka from such abuse.
Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism (SECTT)
Sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism occurs when children are sexually abused by foreign visitors or local travelers. Such offenders are known as child sex tourists. These abusers may be male or female and would usually exchange money, food, gifts or other things for the exploitation.
Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Material (CSAM)
The Internet contains a vast amount of information, amongst which child sexual abuse material is also found abundantly. This is known as non-contact sexual abuse and involves the production, possession, distribution or consumption of child sexual abuse material. Children become victims of sexual predators regardless of age and place.
Another major sexual exploitation involving children is child trafficking and prostitution. The term trafficking indicates the recruitment, transfer, harboring and/or receipt, and transportation across city, state or country borders of any child (under the age of 18) for sexual exploitation.
This involves the sale of children for sexual exploitation to perpetrators who may or may not be aware of their underage status. The crime is often committed by pimps or in brothels that use their normal activities and more powerful clients to cover these darker depths. However, there are also families or parents who sell the children for the money and other special favors that they can obtain.
Child marriage is the formal/informal marriage where at least one of marrying couple is underage (below 18). It is against International law, as well as Sri Lankan law, and violates the most basic rights of the child. In Sri Lanka:
12% of girls are married before 18 years of age
2% of girls are married under 15 years of age