Monday, August 20, 2007

Mexico: 16,000 Child Victims of Sexual Exploitation

MEXICO CITY -- The child pornography and commercial sexual exploitation industry enjoys total impunity in the Mexican capital, according to a report by the Mexico City Human Rights Commission.

The "special report on commercial sexual exploitation of children in the Federal District" confirms that there are at least 20 spots in Mexico City where these illegal activities flourish, under the protection of corrupt elements in the police force.

Although there are no figures on the extent of the phenomenon in the capital, an estimated 16,000 girls and boys are victims of sexual exploitation in this country of 108 million people.

Emilio Álvarez Icaza, head of the local Human Rights Commission, complained about the lack of strategies to clamp down on the problem.

"The state is largely absent in the question of commercial sexual exploitation of children," Álvarez Icaza recently told the press. "We have compiled all of the reports that we requested, and in essence what we found is that there are no specific programmes or actions at the local level."

International organisations fighting child sex tourism say Mexico is one of the leading hotspots of child sexual exploitation, along with Thailand, Cambodia, India, and Brazil.

The global child sex trade, including prostitution, pornography and trafficking for sexual purposes, is a multi-billion dollar business.

According to the Federal Preventive Police, it takes a pedophile an average of 15 days to have sexual relations with a minor after "meeting" the adolescent or child over the Internet...


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