Swedish website to combat child-sex tourism

Website launched by police urges Swedes to report suspicious behaviour among fellow nationals while travelling abroad.

    The campaign is run by authorities, child rights groups and the police who aim to raise awareness [Resekurage.se]
    The campaign is run by authorities, child rights groups and the police who aim to raise awareness [Resekurage.se]

    Swedish police have launched a website to help a crackdown on Swedes travelling abroad for sex with minors.

    The website, Resekurage.se, was launched on Tuesday and encourages Swedes travelling to destinations such as Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka known for child sex tourism, to report suspicious behaviour among fellow nationals.

    "Every year hundreds of thousands of Swedes travel abroad. During their travels they run the risk of unwillingly seeing children being sexually exploited by foreign and Swedish tourists," a statement on the website read, adding that only one in ten nationals knew how to report such crimes abroad.

    The website, which aims to raise awareness on the issue, is part of a campaign run by local authorities, child rights groups and the police.

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    Since 2005, tourists who pay for sex with minors under the age of 18 can face two years in jail when they return to Sweden.

    "We urge people to take their (civil) courage with them, rely on their gut feeling to tip off the police if they see something they think involves sexual exploitation of children," campaign organisers wrote local newspaper Aftonbladet.

    United Nations' estimates put the number of children involved in sex tourism at about two million.

    "There is no doubt that there are Swedes feeding this market, perhaps in the belief that they can safely commit abuses with the protection of anonymity in a far away country," they added.

    "Individual tips can have a big impact in new and ongoing investigations and ultimately decide whether a suspect can be prosecuted."

    According to the Swedish news agency TT, at least seven Swedes have been convicted for paying for sex with a minor abroad since 2005.

    SOURCE: AFP


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