Summary of the Report
Sources of information:
Our inost important sources were the reports of the United
Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, child
Prostitution and child Pornography, prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn; the
reports and other information from ECPAT (End child Prostitution
in Asian Tourism); and material from Save the children UK, Anti-
Slavery international, Radda Barnen, Brot fur die Welt, Terre des
hommes and Interpol, as well as the report of the Brazilian
Parliamentary Commission on child Prostitution
in the Netherlands the 'Youth and Vice squad' of the Amsterdam
Police, the 'Sale of Children Team' of the Rotterdam Police, and
the 'Criminal intelligence Expertise Assault and Theft Unit' (CRI)
provided us with their most recent information
This report is dedicated to the victim children.
To a Thai girl, intercepted by a delivery van, as she was bringing
the noon meal to her parents working in the fields, wakening up
in a brothel in Bangkok. In the year 1995, a H.I.V positive time
bomb is ticking in this girl.
To a Brazilian girl who was sold by her parents to a restaurant
owner looking for a waitress. In the year 1995, this girl is
comforting drunken gold diggers in a camp in the Amazon region,
under circumstanceS no grown-up prostitute would be prepared
to suffer. To a little Polish boy, invited to Amsterdam last
Christmas who was drugged, fled up to a bed within a few days
of his arrival and sexually abused for a video recording. In the
year 1995, many Dutch paedophiles find sexual satisfaction from
And to a boy from Rotterdam, an incest victim, who was sexually
abused by his social worker after he had been rescued from child
prostitution. In the year 1995 there is no longer a place in society
for this boy.
BRINGING TO JUSTICE
In September 1994 the Nobel Prizewinners Initiative Childright
Worldwide started to focus the public eye on the fate of millions
of sexually exploited children. From an academic point of view
nearly all the numbers mentioned in this report are unreliable.
Many of the numbers are estimates or unverifiable speculations.
Others are completely absent. We choose to quote these
unreliable numbers to give at least an indication of the scale and
seriousness of sexual exploitation of children, not only in the
Netherlands, but also in the rest of the world. Internationally
there is even very little consensus on what children are; the age
definitions vary from country to country, as does the law.
In this report we take a stand against child sex-tourism.
Thousands, possibly millions of children will fall victim to this new
phenomenon. Prom the prosperous countries it is easy to take a
cheap flight to poor countries. Everybody can go there to sexually
abuse children and go unpunished. At home the abuse is
considered as a serious offence. More and more 'ordinary' people,
so-called 'opportunistic offenders' who deny any kind of
paedophile tendency sexually abuse children. There can be many
reasons: because it is possible; because it is allowed; because it
is different; because they are not capable of having a relationship
with an adult; or because they think having sex with a child
means less risk of infection with Aids.
This report is a plea for these children: children who are
oppressed by syndicates and forced to have sex with twenty
customers a day. For these children, often only ten, eleven,
twelve years old, three to four hours rest every twenty-four
hours is common. Even four year old are being lured into this trap
for the satisfaction of the Westerner and the profit of the
Child sex-tourism is linked to other forms of sexual exploitation of
children. Child pornography, child rape, child prostitution, child
sex-tourism and child trade go hand in hand. In the press and in
the legislation, nevertheless they are continuously considered as
unrelated phenomenons. With this report ChildRight wants to
plead for an integrated approach in which all the different forms
of exploitation of children will be combined and related to each
Sexual exploitation of children is not a 'Third World Problem', as
many seem to believe. To illustrate this, we have related the
worldwide problem to one 'rich' country. That we singled out the
Netherlands does not indicate that the Netherlands are worse in
this respect than other countries. Maybe we expected it to be
better, because of its longstanding social reputation.
In the Netherlands the 'tolerance' for the paedophile seems to
prevail (maybe out of ignorance) at the expe nse of tens of
thousands children in the Netherlands and in other countries.
While the debate about whether sex with children should be
punishable by law or not is still going on, foreign paedophiles
who have abused Dutch children are quietly deported by the
This report finally makes a stand against the influential lobby of
paedophile networks. They want to make us believe that there is
a consent from the child. According to our information this is
never the case. The child is always the victim! The world has to
know how many children live in such miserable and hopeless
THE VICTIM CHILD
More than ten million children are sexually abused by adults all
over the world. The number of victims of child rape, child
prostitution and child pornography is increasing. Every year more
than a million new children are being kidnapped, bought or forced
to take part in the sex-market in one way or another. The
children are getting younger and younger. As a consequence
more and more children are being infected with the Aids virus.
Paedophiles and 'opportunistic offenders'
In a report of the ILO ("In the Twilight Zone') the paedophile is
described as 'a grown-up using children for sexual purposes'.
Sometimes the word is only used for men abusing little boys. In
psychiatry coundess classifications are made of paedophilia. In
this report we use the word paedophile for all adults who want
sex with children, boys or girls. We do make a distinction
between paedophiles, who only want sex with children, and
'opportunistic offenders' abusing children only when the occasion
In most countries sex with children is an offence, in Florida it is a
capital offence. This is why child abuse is always hidden. The
underground world of paedophiles is highly organised and goes
beyond geographic borders with many international divisions.
The image of the paedophile as a 'dirty old man' is hardly ever
correct. In many cases paedophiles are nice people, often
occupying a leading position in society.
Numbers of paedophiles and their victlms
The paedophile creates many victims. An American study of the
Emory University concluded that 403 paedophiles had made
67.000 viCtims together; with an average of 166 victims per
person. After the death of the Australian Clarence Osborn a lot of
photographs, notes and tapes were found. They bore witness to
the 2.500 small boys that he had sex with.
About the actual number of paedophiles little is known. Parker
Rossman, an expert in homosexual paedophilia, estimates the
number of active gay paedophiles at more than half a million all
over the world. Apparently one out of eight men sometimes gets
sexually excited about young boys. children are not only being
abused by men, but women too appear to have a paedophile
nature. Male and female partners together 'hiring' a child is a
common feature in child sex tourism. Both Thailand and Europe
mention the increasing amount of female paedophiles.
Paedophilia in the Netherlands
Information from Interpol and Dutch and British police indicates
that the Netherlands play a big part in paedophile networks. The
British police accuses the Netherlands explicitly as a leading
country in European paedophile circles. According to Interpol the
number of sexual assaults of children by grown-ups has grown
tremendously in the Netherlands.
The actual size of child abuse in Amsterdam has not been
investigated but the police suspects the number of paedophiles
in the Netherlands to be higher than the accepted 10.000. The
fact that many foreign paedophiles choose the Netherlands as a
residence, because of it's tolerance towards 'different natured',
makes it quite possible that more than 10.000 paedophiles are
sexually active in the Netherlands. Tens of thousands of children
must be sexually abused in the Netherlands.
The paedophile lobby in the Netherlands
In the press the paedophile lobby continuously tries to put
paedophilia and sexual relations with children in a positive
perspective in the Netherlands. They talk about the 'right of
children to sexual self-determination' and deprive the child of any
protection against paedophiles. The thought that children of their
own free will agree to have sex with a grownup is unrealistic. No
child will ever offer it's body to a grown-up voluntarily. Children
who do seem to do this voluntarily are already damaged
(battered, neglected or victimized by incest) and make an easy
prey for the paedophile.
Sexual abuse as 'an offence prosecuted in case of complaint'
As a possible result of the paedophile lobby in the Netherlands,
sexual abuse of children aged twelve and over, is since December
1st, 1991, merely 'an offence prosecuted in case of complaint'.
This means that prosecution is started only in the case when the
child (and/or the parents) report the crime. A legal inquiry may
not be started without a victims complaint. In this way the abuser
mostly goes free and is able to make new victims continuously. In
Rotterdam a man was recently arrested who had been sexually
abusing more than 300 children over a two years period. The
man was provisionally set free because it seemed unlikely to the
judge that he would repeat his actions.
Many paedophiles like to share their 'conquests' with their own
kind. When this is not possible, then at least with a photograph
or video tape. Child pornography is big business. There are
thousands of child pornography collectors. In the Netherlands the
possessiQn of child pornography is not an offence unless there is
proof of distribution or exhibition.
The liberal principle beholds that a 'passive' paedophile, who
does not engage in sexual activities with children but only reads
or watches pornography, does not harm anybody. Yet, in order to
meet the constant demand for child pornography, children have
to be abused again and again. The demand for child pornography
is directly responsible for the recruiting and abusing of an
increasing amount of children. In 1992 the German parliament
pronounced that 130.000 German children were being used for
child pornography. This is even more remarkable since 80% of the
children featured in German pornography are from Asia.
The damaging nature of child pornography
Child pornography damages the child's integrity. The child is
publicly exposed by others and has no control over this
exhibition. Apart from this, child pornography is used to blackmail
children. In 1994 a group of politicians and industrialists were
arrested for sexually abusing little girls in Bombay. Video tapes
made of these offenses were not only used to blackmail the
victims but also to force the girls to lure other children into the
Child pornography is broadly used to convince new children to
join in. A current investigation of a Dutch psychologist shows that
more than 20% of the victims were first pushed into sexual
actions by being made to watch pornography.
There are indications that up to 30% of the abused children will
grow up into being abusers themselves.
International criminal organizations
There are indications of international criminal organisations
engaged in sexual exploitation of children. Interpol estimates
that the number of child victims caused by child pornography
could be as high as two and a half million.
Dutch involvement in criminal networks
There seems to be a Dutch involvement in international networks
exploiting private paedophile hotels and other private resorts on
the Philippines, Sri Lanka and in Brazil. In these 'safe' centres,
paying guests are welcomed and pornography is made. In
addition these networks are often involved in child trade. On the
Philippines organised syndicates offer thousands of children to
Western paedophiles and to the por nographic industry. Recent
reports demonstrate a shift to Eastern-Europe. In Rumania and
Poland, Dutch paedophiles have started their own sex resorts.
One of the most growing 'child markets' is child prostitution. The
United Nations assume that in Asia more than a million children
are involved in child prostitution. This is considered as a rather
conservative estimate. In Latin America high numbers of child
prostitution are also reported. An official report of a parliamentary
committee investigating child prostitution in Brazil starts from
500.000 child prostitutes. According to relief organizations this
number is much higher.
The Thai police or the Brazilian police do not seem capable of
stopping child prostitution. In both countries corrupt policemen
and public servants are willing to protect exploiters of children.
Policemen are often involved in child exploitation in brothels and
on the streets.
In North and Central Africa' the Middle East, Eastern-Europe and
the GOS-countries child prostitution is an increasing
phenomenon. The commercial sexual exploitation of children has
become a worldwide phenomenon.
Child prostitution in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands child prostitution appears in different forms.
The young prostitutes are Dutch as well as from latin America,
Asia and Africa. The number of child prostitutes in the
Netherlands is estimated at more than a thousand. Most of them
operate in private brothels, many of them against their will. As a
result of the recent growth of the number of Eastern-European
children in street prostitution the number of child prostitutes in
the Netherlands is expected to increase.
The trade in children
Kidnapping organizations, parents or other family members sell
children to brothels. Even in the remotest regions of Thailand
people know that their daughters will bring in 25 times more
money through the sex industry, than at home. In Nepal forms of
slave markets are still being held. In India about 20.000 girls are
being transported at any moment from one part of the country to
another for child prostitution.
The international trade in children
Child trade goes beyond borders. Carpet factories in Nepal sell
yearly thousands of young employees to brothels in Bombay.
About 30.000 girls from Nepal work as a prostitute in India. About
10.000 Burmese girls work as a prostitute in Thailand. Reports
indicate that the trade in women and children in the 'Golden
Triangle' is now larger than the opium trade.
A human rights organization of lawyers in Pakistan assumes that
200.000 Bengal women and children are sold as slaves every
year. The prices vary from 600 dollars for work in small
businesses to 2.000 dollars per slave for prostitution.
Child trade is a lucrative business. Brothels in Thailand buy
thousands of Cambodian girls for about 150 dollar each every
year. Japanese middlemen buy thousands of Thai girls from child
traders for about 14.000 dollar each. The girls are resold to
Japanese brothels for up to 80.000 dollars. The girls have to pay
back this 'investment' themselves. This is an impossible task. For
this reason about 70.000 Thai 'hostesses' work as sex slaves
with no rights whatsoever in Japanese bars controlled by 'Yakuza
As for the Netherlands, the trade of children from Eastern-Europe
and other continents to European countries often goes through
INTERNATONAL ACTIONS AGMNST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF
The recent campaign of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution in Asian
Tourism) has brought the issue of child-sextourism into public
attention. The ECPAT network includes 250 groups in 22
countries, both home countries and countries receiving tourists.
As a result of ECPAT campaigns in 1994 the Governments of
Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka took measures to combat
sexual exploitation of children.
Together with travel companies and airlines ECPAT tries to make
the tourists aware of child exploitation in the countries they are
travelling to, like Thailand and the Philippines.
Actions from the tourist industry against child prostitution
In countries like France, Switzerland and Sweden the tourism
industry is educating tourists by distributing information.
Terre des Homme (Germany) has negotiated a deal with the 12
leading tour operators in Germany whereby they must obtain
written assurances from their contracted hotels in Asia that child
prostitution will not be tolerated on the premises. Hotels which
do not conform to the 'acknowledgement' will have their contracts
terminated (Coalition on Child Prostitution and Tourism, 1994)
Prompted by the German action, Australian tour operators are
now obtaining similar assurances from Asian hotels
Legislation in the rich countries
A number of Western governments has sharpened their
legislation concerning prosecution of tourists sexually abusing
children in foreign countries. Germany and Australia have
improved their extraterritorial legislation. New Zealand will follow.
In Sweden extraterritorial prosecution already exists. In July
1994 the United States enacted a law relating to Americans
sexually abusing children overseas. Offenders of this crime can be
sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. In France and Belgium.
various organizations are lobbying for amendments of the law
concerning prosecution of fellow-countrymen and country women
sexually abusing children abroad.
Legislation on child pornography
In most Western countries the production and distribution of child
pornography is now forbidden. The possession of child
pornography however is not criminalised in some Western
countries including the Netherlands, and in most Eastern
The UN Commission on Human Rights has installed a study group,
focusing on these issues, and appointed a Special Reporter on
child prostitution, child pornography and the sale of children, prof.
Vitit Muntarbhorn from Thailand, who has produced several
extensive reports on these issues.
The international police organization Interpol tries to map the
production of child pornography and sexual abuse of children all
over the world. Interpol acts as intermediary for information
between national and international branches.
We have to stop the sexuat expIoitation of children, societies'
most vunerable members, who are sacnflced for the sake of the
economic aud sexual gratification of adults.
We, the undersigned Nobel Prizewinners, call for the
Governments of all the countries of the World to criminalize any
form of sexual exploitation of children, and to comply with the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, which specifically calls for
measures against the inducement or coercion of a child to
engage in any unlawful sexual activity (art. 19), and against the
exploitative use of children in prostitution (art. 34).
It is unacceptable that children are seen as commodities traded
on the street, that children's bodies are used as products,
smuggled and sold and thrown away.
It is unacceptable that adults can possess pornographic materials
for which children have been abused, debased or even tortured.
It is unacceptable that adults can engage in sexual activities with
children, often from especially vulnerable backgrounds, without
being held answerable.
It is unacceptable that citizens from rich countries can 'purchase'
sexual activities with children in poorer countries, without being
held answerable anywhere.
We urge those States from which child sex tourists come, to take
legislative measures to ensure that their citizens can be
convicted in their own courts for this crime, regardless of the
place where it was committed.
We urge those States to which these tourists go, to take legal
measures and to enforce the law to stop their children from being
We urge the World Tourism Organisation, all national tourism
organizations, travel organizations, airlines, hotel organizations
and others who stand to profit from international tourism, to
cooperate and devise practical measures to stop child sex
We urge States with military bases or troops stationed on foreign
territory, to take all necessary measures to prevent the
involvement of military personnel in child prostitution.
We urge those States that have not yet done so to enact
legislation making it a crime to produce, distribute or possess
pornographic material involving children.
We urge all States to adopt legislation to prevent the use of new
forms of technology for soliciting for child prostitution or for
production and distribution of child pornography.
We urge all States, Unions of States and International
Organizations to maximize international cooperation and
coordination in the worldwide combat to stop the sexual
exploitation of children, to facilitate the provision of more
research and information on this theme, and to enhance social
measures and development assistance where necessary to end
the sexual exploitation of children.
Finally we urge all States, Unions of States, International
Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations to cooperate
in the provision of shelter, health care, education, rehabilitation
and reintegration for all children that have been sexually