Not a second goes by without a child being raped, tortured or abused somewhere in the world. It is estimated, for example, that:
- In Asia, more than a million children are sexually exploited;
- India is the Asian country that is the most affected, with at least 400,000 children being subjected to such treatment;
- In the United States of America, more than 300,000 children are affected by some form of abusive sexual treatment.
- In South Africa, close to 30,000 children engage in prostitution.
It suffices to say that it is difficult to obtain precise figures on issues like these. Factors Contributing to the Sexual Exploitation of Children Numerous factors contribute the sexual exploitation of minors. These include: – Poverty : poor children are more vulnerable than others because they believe that what the exploiters offer is a chance to make a decent living. They quickly lose hope and find they are the perpetual victims of sexual relationships based solely on violence and force. – Sex-trafficking networks: the development of communication technology (cell phones, the Internet, etc.) permits the rapid spread of information throughout the world. Consequently, international and cross-border networks of child-traffickers have developed, thereby facilitating the exploitation of children all over the globe. – Humanitarian crises : caused by armed conflicts or natural catastrophes, such crises aggravate the precarious situation in which children find themselves. Helpless children, sometimes orphans, who struggle day in and day out to survive, are often easy prey for individuals who wish to sexually exploit them. – Worldwide development of the sex industry :such development leads to an increase in the size, shape and scope of sexual exploitation.