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UN: Children's Sexual Exploitation at Appalling Levels - 2001-12-13

The United Nations Children's Fund says millions of children are being sexually exploited, and calls for the eradication of the abuse of children for commercial purposes.

Buying and selling children as sex slaves across the globe has reached appalling levels, the United Nations Children's Fund says. It says the violation of children's' human rights is intolerable and should be stamped out.

Distressing details of child abuse are outlined in UNICEF's new publication entitled "Profiting from Abuse."

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Kul Gautam, says governments should take two important measures to help end the sexual exploitation of children. "One is leadership and the second is education; confronting those who profit from the exploitation of children calls for very strong leadership. Laws are needed in many countries. Many countries have laws but they are not enforced and implemented; very strong implementation is needed," he said.

UNICEF says it hopes the study will raise public awareness of the problem and stimulate government action.

The report is being released in advance of the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children to be held in Japan later this month.