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Important data on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Costa Rica is scarce » Women's Courage

Important data on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Costa Rica is scarce

January 31st, 2013 by sophiacr Leave a reply »

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a term that encompasses prostitution, sex tourism, pornography, and trafficking for sexual purposes. The literature regarding the commercial sexual exploitationof children in Costa Rica is significantly scarce. The secrecy of child sexual exploitation clearly contributes to this lack of information, but inadequate resources are also a factor [1].

The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child outlines the rights of all human beings under the age of 18 (or younger in countries where majority of age is attained earlier by law) [2]. Countries that have ratified this convention regularly appear before the Committee on the Rights of the Child to report on their latest advances in the promotion of children’s rights and their compliance with the convention [2]. In 2007, the Committee expressed concern for Costa Rica’s lack of data and research on the prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation of children and its disaggregation based on sex, age and minority status [3].

My research indicates that no comprehensive studies of commercial sexual exploitation in Costa Rica have been published since 2001. Casa Alianza (The Latin American version of Covenant House), EPCAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), and the Audrey Hepburn Children Fund conducted the latest investigation [1]. The inequity in terms of CSEC research not only affects all children in Costa Rica by virtue of living in a developing nation, but also affects certain populations within the country more than others. The few data that exists has mostly been collected on children in the capital, leaving the situation of those in the rural provinces even more unexposed [1].

Tackling commercial sexual exploitation of children is urgent regardless of how many children are affected by it, but understanding the extent and intricacies of the problem is key to develop and implement effective interventions [3]. With the limited budget of the Costa Rican government and the dangers of conducting research on such a corrupt environment, it seems unlikely that the necessary studies will be conducted soon. Policy and advocacy to foster the study of CSEC in the country are needed. However, in the mean time, the data from the 2001 study can still inform measures to tackle CSEC.







1 comment

  1. Hillary says:

    Sophia, it’s hard to read that with such harsh issues of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Costa Rica, very little is known about it. The first step to solving any problem is exposing the issue to the public. But if no information regarding CSED has been discussed since 2001, especially data from rural villages, not much can be done. It would be interesting to hear what you think might be possible interventions. How would you go about exposing the problem and then trying to put an end to CSED?

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