World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation
World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation Every year since 2009, 4th March has been designated as World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation. Although there are exceptions, sexual exploitation overwhelmingly involves women and children, and it is a problem of worldwide proportions. It has been estimated that every second of the day an average of eight women, girls and often young boys, are trapped by international criminal networks where the sole aim is to sexually exploit them, traffic them and enslave them. This process obviously robs them of their basic human rights, including their right to freedom, their dignity, their right to live where they choose and the right to control their own bodies. Although the problem is a worldwide one, some places are more vulnerable than others. These include areas in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and some Latin American and Caribbean countries. Trafficked women from these areas are generally taken to destination countries in the so-called developed world for the purposes of prostitution. Although older teenage girls can be involved in this traffic, younger girls and boys who are involved in sexual exploitation will generally stay close to their region of origin. UNICEF estimates that more than 3 million children worldwide are affected by prostitution and that children make up more than a third of all sex workers in Asia. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that nearly a million people are trafficked every year for purposes of sexual exploitation. Although 98% are women and girls, this number also includes a significant number of boys and young men. The major international crimes are trafficking in drugs and weapons, but sexual trafficking follows closely behind and is now a highly lucrative international criminal industry. According to the ILO, human trafficking for sexual exploitation makes between US$ 7 billion and $12 billion a year on the initial sale . However, once the victims of trafficking arrive in the destination country and are exploited, a further US$32 billion will be generated by the industry .