Stolen Innocence: Inside the Shady World of Child Sex Tourism [USA]

Author: Brittany Bacon, ABC News, Published on: 17 July 2007

North America accounts for a quarter of all child sex tourism around the globe, according to humanitarian experts. This week…a New York sex tour operator will be up to seven years in prison for promoting prostitution. The multimillion dollar child sex tourism industry is supported by foreigners who travel to developing countries where widespread poverty and corrupt law enforcement foster an illicit environment in which they can have sex with children as young as 5 for as little as $5, often with little recourse, said Geoffrey Keele, a child protection spokesperson at UNICEF...Users of the online classifieds sites like Craigslist can log on and find listings for young prostitutes...according to Ken Franzblau, the anti-trafficking campaign coordinator for Equality Now…"Craigslist is becoming America's biggest pimp," …Craigslist did not immediately respond with a comment…Private industry and Internet service providers are working with law enforcement to shut down pedophile ring chat rooms, while financial groups and coalitions are monitoring to make sure credit cards aren't being used to pay for child pornography, said Amy O'Neill Richard of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the Department of State…NGOs have been encouraging travel agencies like hotels, airlines and tour operators to sign a "code of conduct" to commit to training staff and advertising the illegality of sex tourism, said Richard. Since 2004, more than 600 companies around the world have joined the efforts.

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