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University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 1 7 Issue 2 | Spring 2016 1 A Comparison of Child Prostitution Rates and Laws Vanessa Fernandez and Suzanna Smith College of Agricultural and Life Sciences University of Florida The increasingly global extent of human trafficking in the form of child prostitution, coupled with pressure leveraged by international organizations have prompted many countries to develop laws to prosecute and punish perpetrators. The purpose of this resear ch was to examine the role of country level laws in explaining variation in rates of child prostitution across six selected countries exhibiting high and low rates of child prostitution. It was hypothesized that countries with fewer and less detailed laws targeted against child prostitution and trafficking would have higher rates of child prostitution. An in was conducted. Contrary to expectations, the laws did not entirely account for diffe rences in rates of child prostitution but proved there are other factors contributing to child prostitution. The researchers provide c ontextual interpretations of results, suggesting cultural, economic, and enforcement factors affecting child prostitution OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM OF CHILD PROSTITUTION s many as two million children are exploited annually in the global prostitution industry (United States, 2011). Victims are often trafficked from poor countries to wealthy ones and forced into servitude (Smith, 2011). Traffickers sometimes persuade desper ately poor families with promises of economic opportunities for their child. Instead, trafficked and prostituted children face immediate risks such as beatings, rape, torture, and murder (Barnet, Abrams, Azzi, Ryan, Brook, & Chung, 2016). Prostituted children have high rates of violence inflicted injuries, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and untreated chronic medical conditions (Barn et et al., 2016). They also face disease (e.g., tuberculosis) and malnutrition, due to the poverty and neglect they ex perience (Barnet et al., 2016). The long term mental health consequences for survivors are severe and include Post Traumatic Stress Disor der, substance abuse disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Hawke & Raphael, 2016; Jordan, Bina, & Rapp, 2013). Child prostitution occurs because of multiple social and economic factors, such as poverty, la ck of education and employment opportunities, corruption and bribery of law enforcement, rural to urban migration, and the proliferation of the internet (Barnitz, 2001; Hawke & Raphael, 2016). Sex tourism and the demand for younger children, cultural accep tance of prostitution in some cases, and the overall devaluation of women and children also fuel the market (Barnitz, 2001). The issue of child sexual exploitation has been widely recognized as a global problem at three World Congress es held in 1996, 2001 and 2008. 140 cou ntries signed on to take action. However, a recent report concluded that this crime has expanded worldwide and risks to children are increasing (Hawke & Raphae l, 2016). The question remains: What works to stop the exploitation? (Hawke & Raphael, 2016). One success of the last two decades of international work is that most countries have established laws to guard children against sexual exploitation (Hawke & Raphael, 2016). This study takes a closer look at legislative efforts to protec t children in some countries and attempts to identify Raphael, 2016). The purpose of this study was to explore the role of country level legislation in child prostitution by examining the laws of six sel ected countries exhibiting high and low rates of child prostitution. The hypothesis predicted a correlation between legislation and child prostitution rates, such that a country with fewer and less specific laws will have higher child prostitution rates w hile countries with more numerous and more specific laws targeted against child prostitution and trafficking will have low er rates of child prostitution. Research Design Case study research is useful for policy studies to determine how various approaches w ork or do not work in addressing a problem (Yin, 2013; Yin & Heald, 1975). This research seeks to understand the links, if any, between laws and varying rates of child prostitution. Furthermore, a multiple case study examines more than one case with the ca ses embedded in different contexts, allowing the researcher to explain or predict similarities and differences. In this study, the multiple cases were the varying nation states (Stake, 2006). Rather than examining each case in isolation, t his design takes into account the influence of the local context (Baxter & Jack, 2008). Sampling The sample frame was selected from a previous study of child prostitution rates in 12 countries (Huynh, Scheuble, & A
V ANESSA F ERNANDEZ & S UZANNA S MITH University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 1 9 Issue 2 | Spring 2018 2 Dayananda, 2010) that developed predictor variables from data collected by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency on country social and economic conditions. The rates of child prostitution were compiled by ECPAT, an international for the eli mination of child prostitution, child pornography of the 12 countries were selected for this research. The countries selected were the three with the lowest rates of child prostitution and the three with the highest rates of child prostitution, according to ECPAT data. The highest level countries were Thailand, Zambia, and Cambodia 1 The countries with the lowest rates of child prostitution were Russia, China, and Indonesia (Huynh et al., 2010). The laws for these six countries were found in the United Nations Database of Legislation, (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, n.d.). The Criminal Code for fiv e of the six countries was used. F or Zambia, the Anti Human Trafficking act was used since th is is what was includ e d in the Database. The complete legislation was organized into a table display ing the data for in depth qualitative analysis of the laws and rates of child prostitution. Coding and Analysis After a first examination of the data, it became clear that a quantitative analysis would not be feasible because the wide variation of definitions and sanctions made it difficult to set standards for how to make numerical comparisons. Furthermore, all countries had many laws aimed at limiting pro stitution, including high prostitution rate countries. As a result, qualitative analysis was conducted to untangle differences in laws and sanctions. C hild prostitution laws were organized into a large master table by country. These laws were chosen if th ey mentioned anything that could be related to child prostitution such as age of the victim, form of trafficking or prostitution, and traffickers and organizers of the crime. Analysis of this master table led to the creation of four categories: abduction, sexual acts, coercion, and age These categories were present A table for each country was created for each category. Countries were compared to identify factors that were common across countries as well as factors that were prese nt only in some countries. RESULTS The results section includes a description of the sample and major findings 2 This includes a description of the categories of laws and number of laws pertaining to child prostitution; highlights of analyses of the four categories of laws ( abduction, sexual acts, coercion and age ) ; and a summary of the observed relations between laws and rates of child prostitution. Sample Of the three countries with low rates of child prostitution, Indonesia had 15 child prostitutes per 100,000 people while Russia and China both had 17 child prostitutes per 100,000 people. Of the three countries with the high est rates of child prostitution, Thailand had 903 child prostitutes out of 100,000 people, while Zambia had 508 child prostitutes and Cambodia had 199 child prostitutes out of 100,000 people. This information is summarized in Table 1. Table 1. Countries and Rates of Child Prostitution Country Number of Child Prostitution per 100,000 Indonesia 15 Russia 17 China 17 Cambodia 199 Zambia 508 Thailand 903 Number of Laws Pertaining to Child Prostitution The number of laws for each category and country are presented in Table 2. The number of laws indicates the total laws that pertain to child prostitution. Table 2. Number of Laws in Each Country Country Number of Laws China 4 Articles 20 Laws Cambodia 7 Articles 16 Laws Indonesia 10 Articles 20 Laws Thailand 7 Sections 29 Laws Russia 4 Articles 37 Laws Zambia 8 Sections 24 Laws Abduction As shown in Table 3, all six countries had laws regarding abduction, with Thailand, Indonesia, and Russia addressed the intent of the abduction, specifying motives of sexual gratification, putting someone in a helpless state, or mercenary considerations respectively. Zambia, Cambodia, and China did not consider the intent of the abductio n.
A C OMPARISON OF C HILD P ROSTITUTION R ATES AND L AWS University of Florida | Journal of Undergradua te Research | Volume 1 9 Issue 2 | Spring 2018 3 Four of the six countries have laws specifying age and associated sanctions. Two countries place more severe sanctions when injury or death occur s during an abduction T wo other countries specify conditions where the abduction clearly remove s an individual from a family caregiver or spouse. Russia ha s the most specific laws pertaining to abduction. Zambia, Cambodia, and Indonesia do not take into account physical injury or death or the threa t thereof in laws on abduction. Table 3. Summary of Laws Pertaining to Abduction Sexual Acts with Children This analysis included any crimes relevant to child prostitution that referred to sexual acts. Countries used different terminology for this crime. For the purposes of this analysis, all of the following were included under the xual int intercourse with the use As shown in Table 4, all countries except Zambia appl y and extent of injury. Three countries specif y that these acts pertain to gi rls (but not boys) and refer to sexual intercourse. Two countries increase sanctions in the cases of injury and rape, or when the perpetrator has HIV/AIDS. Table 4 Summary of Laws Against Acts with Children Country Sexual Acts Age Marital Status Violence China X Cambodia X Indonesia X X a Thailand X X b X d X e Russia X X c X f Zambia X a Under 15. b Increasing sanctions as age of victim decreases. c rape of minor, not age specific and rape under 14. d Corresponds with 3 age tiers. e Increasing sanctions with greater harm caused to victim. f Rape of minor 8 15; and rape of minor under 14; increasing sanctions. Coercion The category of coercion refers to laws covering crimes of violence that force someone to act against their will, such as to leave their country or go to work for another person. As Table 5 shows, all six countries have laws pertaining to nonviolent forms of coercion, including using deceitful means to keep someone under control and destroying or concealing evidence a Russia and Zambia specifically criminalize the use of coercion with violence. Countries vary in the extent to which sanctions increase in severity as violence involved in the coercion increases. However, none of the co untries identified minors as a special group or imposed sanctions based on age. Table 5 Summary of Laws Against Coercion Country Coercion Without Violence Coercion With Violence Age Specific China X X Cambodia X Indonesia X Thailand X X a Russia X X b X Zambia X X c Observations on the Role of Age in Laws E xamining how age is identified or not identified in child prostitution laws can reveal the measures a country takes to protect children as a group of special concern. Specification of the age of the victim varied considerably across the six countries. As Table 6 shows, four out of the six countries indicated age; three of those four indicated a numerical age and one implied age in the way the law was stated. Out of the four countries that indicated age, three of them indicated gender specifically female in some laws. Table 6 The Role of Age in Laws Country Indication of Age Numerical Indication of Age Gender Specific (Girl) China Cambodia Indonesia X X X Thailand X X X Russia X X X Zambia X Other age related factors raise questions about interpretations of the law. Thailand punishes a man who has Country Abduction Intent Physical H arm Injury or Death Age Removes from Caregiver or Spouse China X X Cambodia X X X Indonesia X X X X Thailand X X X Russia X X X X Zambia X
V ANESSA F ERNANDEZ & S UZANNA S MITH University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 1 9 Issue 2 | Spring 2018 4 sex with a girl not yet over 15 who is not his wife yet, a 15 year punish men having intercourse with a girl who is between 13 and 15 H owever, if the man is married to or marries this girl, he will be exempt from punishment. Indonesian law indicates that a girl who has not yet reached the age of 15 is not yet marriageable. Accusations of the crime of sex with a girl under the age of 15 are only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint or if the victim is less than 12 years old. Russia has two separ ate laws for the under 14, with a heavier sentence for the latter. SUMMARY There was no clear connection between country laws and rates of child prostitution in selected countries with high and low rates of child prostitution. Looking at the number of laws alone (Table 2), there was no obvious relation to rates of child prostitution Thailand, the country with the highest rate of child prostitution, had 29 laws. China, the country with the second low est rate had 20 laws (Table 1). All countries had laws against abduction, and all but one cause for additional sanctions. All countries criminalized sexual acts with children. Thailand had laws sp ecifically addressing age, gender, marital status, and violence. Only Russia had more laws, if HIV/AIDS is separated out and added to the list of other crimes. All countries had laws against coercion China and Russia specifically addressed minority age in relation to acts of coercion. There was no clear pattern between laws criminalizing acts against young children and rates of child prostitution. For example, China, with the second lowest rate of chi ld prostitution, did not have laws specifying age. In contrast, Thailand, with the highest rate, had laws specifically detailing numerical age. DISCUSSION The purpose of this research was to examine the role of ostitution in explaining the variations in rates of child prostitution for six selected countries exhibiting high and low rates of child prostitution. Contrary to the expectation that more numerous and stricter laws and sanctions would be in place in count ries with low rates of child prostitution, there was no clear cut evidence of a relation between laws pertaining to child prostitution and rates of child prostitution in the six study countries. The analys i s revealed considerable differences in the laws an d sanctions imposed for violations of the law. These results suggest that laws and sanctions alone are not sufficient to decrease rates of child prostitution. The interpretation of results required going beyond the immediate laws to examine contextual fact ors that might be influencing these results. Social, Cultural and Economic Factors The social, cultural and economic contexts of each country frame national laws and decisions about enforcement. For instance, Thailand has the highest rate of child prostit ution (Huynh et al., 2010) despite the fact that it also has extensive laws against child prostitution. This paradox may be attributed to social and historical changes, cultural norms facilitating child prostitution, and financial hardships facing rural fa milies. In the late 1900s, rural poverty in Thailand increased due to export led policies for industrial growth (Lau, 2008). Impoverished families were desperate to produce the cash currency necessary to survive T hese conditions put children at risk of e ntering the sex industry, with daughter s especially vulnerable to being sold into sexual slavery Furthermore, some religious beliefs appear to accept prostitution as one way a girl can show gratitude and gain merit by rais ing money to support the family (Lau, 2008). Additional reasons for high demand for child prostit utes include the beliefs that sex with a virgin or a young child is rejuvenating; brings luck, strength and virility; is a cure for venereal disease; and is safer because young girls are less likely to have HIV/AIDS (Lau, 2008). Yet a n other reason, drawn from a study of neighboring Cambodia suggests that the ability to purchase a sexual encounter with a prostitute proves ra nk, power, and class (Perrin, Majumdar, Gafuik, & Andrews, 2011). The role of poverty in sexual exploitation is fundamentally important. Recruiters search out desperate faced with bleak economic opp they are being hired for a legitimate job (Blackburn et al., 2010, p. 108). Widespread poverty is not only related to child sex trafficking and prostitution but can also be an economic barrier to efforts to protect children fro m sexual exploitation (Mulinge, 2002). Enforcement and Corruption While all the countries in this study had extensive anti prostitution laws in place, the lack of enforcement of laws and associated corruption are obstacles to reducing child prostitution. U ltimately, corruption threatens the legal In Cambodia, for example, bribery at all levels of law enforcement, including the judicial systems (Perrin et al., 2011), discourages the enforcement of laws again st child prostitution due to the steady income derived from bribes (Rafferty, 2007). T here is also some evidence that Cambodian children taken from their homes are being trafficked to Thailand by fishermen, traders, soldiers and
A C OMPARISON OF C HILD P ROSTITUTION R ATES AND L AWS University of Florida | Journal of Undergradua te Research | Volume 1 9 Issue 2 | Spring 2018 5 corrupt officials to meet t prostitutes (Perrin at al., 2011). Although any of the participants could report these illegal transactions, they choose not to since they personally benefit from them (Perrin et al., 2011). Many questions remain about the extent of enforcement in each of the study countries and factors contributing to corruption (Hawke & Raphael, 2016). Limitations The United Nations database of laws provided a thorough comp endium but questions remain about the meaning of sanctions at the national level For example, interpreting the meaning of the compulsory labor sanction in Russia, or the extent to which monetary fines in certain countries represent a substantial penalty, would requ ire additional study. Furthermore, although the Zambia Criminal Code was not available and the United Nations d atabase provided the Anti Trafficking Act, there is no way to know how the criminal code may have differed. Another limitation is the probable u nder reporting of child prostitution in some countries, including those in the database. The under reporting is partly due to the fact that child prostitution and trafficking is a hidden crime and statistics involved are estimates Thus the magnitude of t he problem may be much larger CONCLUSION Twenty years ago, Hodgson (1994) observed that prostitution is a complex phenomenon which requires multiple, long term and coordinated strategies underpinned by budgetary commitment to address its various di country analysis of conclusions. Laws do not necessarily account for variations in child prostitution rates. Instead, the problem can only be understood by unp acking its complex social, economic, and cultural contexts. This study and the literature cited suggest that the problem can only be addressed by confronting deeper issues, particularly poverty, the second class status of women and girls, a large sex indus try, and corruption in law enforcement. L aws are certainly important because without laws in place child prostitution w ould go unrestrained. However, widespread efforts are needed to dismantle the market for child prostitution and create a more protective environment for children. REFERENCES Barnet, E.S., Abrams, S., Azzi, V.F., Ryan, G., Brook, R., Chung, P.J. protect child sex trafficking victims: Decriminalization alone is not sufficien t. Child Abuse and Neglect 51, 249 262. Barnitz, L. (2001). Effectively responding to the commercial sexual exploitation of children: A comprehensive approach to prevention, protection, and reintegration services. Child Welfare 80(5), 597 610. Blackburn, A.G., Taylor, R.W., Davis, J.E. (2010). Understanding the complexities of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation: The case of Southeast Asia. Women and Criminal Justice 20(1 2), 105 126. Doi: 1080/08974451003641099 Council on Foreign R elations. (1996). First World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: Declaration and Agenda for Action. Retrieved from http://www.cfr.org/human rights/first world congress against commercial sexual exploitation children declaration ag enda action/p27940 ECPAT (2008a). World Congress III: ECPAT International works to ensure World Congress III results in effective measures to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Retrieved from http://resources.ecpat.net/worldcongressIII/index.php ECPAT (2008b). World Congress III puts forth recommendations to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Retrieved from http://resources.ecpat.net/worldcongressIII/outcome02.php ECPAT, (2016). Country Monitoring Reports. Retrieved from www.ecpa.net/res ources Hawke, A. & Raphael, A. (2016). Global study on sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. Bangkok: ECPAT International. Hodgson, D. (1994). Sex tourism and child prostitution in Asia: Legal responses and strategies. Melbourne Universit y Law Review 19, 512 544. Huynh, T. N., Scheuble, L., & Dayananda, V., (2010). Child Prostitution in 12 Countries: An Exploratory Study of Predictors. The Penn State McNair Journal 135. Jordan J., Bina, P., & Rapp, L. (2013). Domestic minor sex traffick ing: A social work perspective on misidentification, victims, buyers, traffickers, treatment, and reform of current practice. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 23, 356 369. Lau, C. (2008). Child prostitution in Thailand. Journal of Chil d Health Care, 12(2), 144 155 doi: 10 1177/1367493508090172 convention on the right of the child in sub Saharan Africa: the overlooked socioeconomic and political dilemmas. Child Abuse and Neglect 26, 1117 1130. Perrin, B., Majumdar, S., Gafuik, N. & Andrews, S. (2011). The future of the Southeast Asia: Challenges of sex slavery and trafficking in Cambodia, The Future Group, 1 175. Rafferty, Y. (2007). Children for sale: Child trafficking in sout heast Asia. Child Abuse Review 16, 401 401. Doi:10.1002/car.1009 Smith, H.M. (2011). Sex trafficking: Trends, challenges, and the limitations of international law. Human Rights Review 12, 271 286 doi: 10.1007/s12142 010 0185 4 Stake, R. E. (2006). Multi ple case study analysis. New York: The Guilford Press. UNICEF (2001). 2nd World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/events/yokohama/
V ANESSA F ERNANDEZ & S UZANNA S MITH University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 1 9 Issue 2 | Spring 2018 6 UNICEF. (2008). World Congress III Against the Sexual Exploi tation of Children opens in Brazil. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/protection/brazil_46520.html United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d.). Sharing electronic resources and laws on crime: Database of le gislation [Database]. United States. Dep artment of State. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (2011). Trafficking in Persons Report. United States. Department of State. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. (2015). Trafficking in Persons Report. United States. De partment of State. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. (2016). Trafficking in Persons Report. Yin, R. K. & Heald, K.A. (1975). Using the case survey method to analyze policy studies. Administrative Science Quarterly 20(3), 371 381. Retri eved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2391997 Yin, R.K. (2013). Validity and generalization future case study evaluations. Evaluation 19(3), 321 322 doi: 10.1177/1356389013497081 ENDNOTES 1 Taiwan was the third highest country but was eliminated because of next highest child prostitution rate. 2 More detailed information about study results is presented in the full thesis and can be found in the University of Florida database of Undergraduate Theses.