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Spain rapped over sex tourism

Published on 05/02/2004

5 February 2004

MADRID – Spain has one of the worst records for sex tourism, according to a report published Thursday by Save the Children.

The report says sex tourism is on the increase, with more than 600 million people involved in developing countries and through international travel.

At least 3 percent of these – 3.5 million people – are involved in paedophilia, it says.

The countries with the largest number of abusers are France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium.

In 2001, up to 35,000 Spaniards journeyed to Latin America expressly to have sex with children, according to the report.

The Caribbean, South East Asia, Africa and Central America are also popular places for sex tourists, who prefer children because the abusers have less chance of contracting the HIV virus.

The internet is the main medium through which sex tourists find their victims.

The report also said says the majority of children abused in Spain are younger than 12 years old.

More than 90 percent of the abusers are male.

In 2002, there were 8,401 reports about children disappearing in Spain.

Sex abuse of children often involved some economic benefit – in the trafficking of children, prostitution, sex tourism or child pornography.

“More than 5,000 Spanish boys and girls are captured in prostitution gangs,” according to Save the Children.

The charity claimed that 22 percent of prostitutes in Spain claimed they started as children.

Save the Children used information from the Ministry of the Interior which said that in 2002, there were 323 cases of child exploitation.

The report said children get involved in prostitution after being found by pimps, through addiction to drugs or because of shortage of money.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news