Since 2009, the fourth of March has been declared as World Day Against Sexual Exploitation. While there are exceptions, sexual abuse disproportionately affects women and children, and this is a global issue. An aggregate of eight women, girls, and often young boys, are caught by worldwide criminal networks every second of the day, with the sole purpose of sexually exploiting, trafficking, and enslaving them. This practice clearly deprives them of their fundamental human rights, such as their right to freedom, dignity, the ability to live where they choose, and control over their own bodies.
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Although older adolescent females may be involved in this trafficking, younger boys and girls who are victims of sexual exploitation will typically remain in their home location. Prostitution affects more than 3 million children worldwide, according to UNICEF, and youngsters account for more than one third of all sex workers in Asia.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), approximately a million humans are trafficked each year for sexual exploitation. Despite the fact that 98 percent of the population is made up of women and girls, there are nevertheless a substantial number of young men and boys. The largest international crimes are drug and weapon trafficking, but sexual trafficking is fast catching up and has become a rich international criminal enterprise. According to the International Labor Organization, the initial “sale” of human trafficking for sexual abuse generates between $7 billion and $12 billion every year. However, after the victims of human trafficking reach in the target country and are abused, the “business” will produce an additional US$32 billion.
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Even wealthy nations are affected. According to a research published in 2001, 300,000 children in the United States were at unwanted sexual advances that may be classified as commercial. The terrible reality is that this dreadful commerce is capable of claiming the lives of countless individuals every year, yet it is a commerce that can only exist because of the irrational needs of others. The solution is to eliminate these needs, at which point there will be no need for supply, but this is a difficult undertaking.
The goal of the World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation is to raise awareness about this huge global issue. Sexual abuse often goes unnoticed, as it often does with topics that flourish in the shadows of society and hover on the edge of criminality.
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