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In the spotlight

Say NO To Child Sex Tourism

Problem


The Dominican Republic has become a major international destination for sex tourism, although prostitution is prohibited.  Children are being trafficked to work in beach areas and resorts in the south.

Within this illegal sex industry, prostitution operates through a formal network of third parties, including bar and brothel owners. There is also an informal sector in which women, men and children are enlisted into prostitution, either voluntarily or forced by family or acquaintances. Children at risk include Haitian orphans and Haitian refugees and their children. Children who are exploited in the sex industry are often those who have left home to escape violence or other forms of abuse. Once they are on their own they become vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

In Boca Chica many tourist establishments are owned by foreign residents which has led to underground tourism. The owners recruit sex tourists from their country of origin through informal means like word-of-mouth.

 

Support by Plan


The ‘A Collective NO to Child Sex Tourism’ project focuses on training and supporting young people to be youth promoters by raising awareness and increasing knowledge among their peers and family; at the same time working to strengthen the system of child protection by creating, training and supporting local systems of child protection and community mechanisms to combat sexual exploitation of the youth. Youth groups are also being involved and empowered through focus groups, workshops and debates.

The private sector and tourism industry are being involved in the project through seminars, including training courses for employees of bars and restaurants, taxi drivers and tour guides, as well as through the promotion of The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. Professionals in the law enforcement, social work (including community-based child protection) and education sectors are also being trained.

This project aims to reach vulnerable children, particularly those at high risk of becoming the victims of sexual violence, sexual exploitation and child sex tourism. This includes children who have been identified as victims of children’s rights violations, particularly girls.


Local partners


This project is a follow-up of the ‘Reducing Violence against Children’ (2014-2015) programme. It is being implemented by ECPAT affiliate Movimiento Para el Autodesarrollo Internacional de la Solidaridad (MAIS), Plan Dominican Republic and Plan Dominican Republic’s partner Caminante Proyecto Educativo.

 

   

 

ECPAT International represents 86 member CSOs across 76 countries in six regions of the world. It is the largest global network working on the eradication of all forms of sexual exploitation of children. In the Netherlands, DCI and ECPAT are united under one organisation called Defence for Children – ECPAT Netherlands.

Defence for Children International (DCI) is an independent NGO that has been promoting and protecting children’s rights on a global, regional, national and local level for 35 years. DCI is represented through its national sections and associated members in 47 countries worldwide, and has an International Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Targeted regions


The project is implemented in five municipalities: Boca Chica (Santo Domingo Province), Guayacanes and Quisqueya (Province of San Pedro de Macoris) and Higuey and San Rafael del Yuma (Province of La Altagracia). All municipalities are located in the southeast of the country and are known for their (inter)national sex tourism in beach areas and resorts.

 

 

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Blog

Plan Nederland

Plan Nederland


Plan Nederland, launching partner, is continuously searching for new ways to raise funds and to communicate in a targeted way with the partners about the projects that they support. Favoraid fills this need: companies and donors feel involved from start to finish in the project that they finance. In addition, the companies have the option of branding an appealing project with a logo and to share it within their corporate environment.

Monique van 't Hek
(Director Plan Nederland)

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