The sexual exploitation of children has become an increasingly international phenomenon owing to the development of information technologies, trafficking networks, tourism and migration. Millions of children and young people under the age of 18 are victims of trafficking every year, the majority of whom subsequently become objects of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation of children is a gross violation of child rights that gravely compromises the health and development of children and the full enjoyment of their rights and has a long-lasting impact on the victims. Despite significant efforts to eliminate the trafficking of children and young people for sex, many challenges still remain. Much still needs to be done to protect, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims, provide reparation for damage caused to children, prosecute those responsible, and ultimately prevent this phenomenon.
The intersectoral, national and international dimensions of this phenomenon require efficient and coordinated cooperation between all actors, both directly and indirectly, with children, and at all levels— national, regional and international. It also requires the strengthening of corporate social responsibility initiatives to prevent and stop the sexual exploitation of children.
The Body Shop and ECPAT’s threeyear campaign ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People’ is an admirable example of this international and intersectoral cooperation, highlighting the efficacy of corporate social responsibility, global partnership and youth participation.