Sexual exploitation: a growing menace is an annual report on development and trends regarding sexual exploitation during 2012. The report was produced by Fondation Scelles, a French organisation founded by Jean and Jeannes Scelles in 1994. This report is part of the organisations effort to create an awareness regarding prostitution and trafficking among politicians, but also in the community.
The Scelles report contains facts concerning prostitution related problems and events in 66 countries, as well as their jurisdiction. Besides these cases, the report also contains articles that discuss aspects of prostitution that has been brought to attention the last year. Among other things, cyber trafficking, child prostitution in France, prostitution in the media and sex tourism are discussed.
The report is not an uplifting read. The number of prostitutes is increasing and prostitution is more comprising than ever. In part, this is caused by the economical situation in the world, where prostitution has become a last resort for new categories of people: students, house wives and the unemployed. Before, these were not the typical victims. A large number of young persons and children are exposed to and taken advantage of through prostitution, not only through sex tourism but also in western cities.
There is a glimpse of light to be found in this report, though. Even though the number of prostitutes has increased, so has the awareness regarding sexual exploitation. This has, in part, been accomplished through debates started in the media after revealed cases or scandals with politicians (at the same time, the report sheds light on the fact that the media also has a tendency of depicting prostitution in a more flattering way, both the victims as well as the offenders). The increased awareness regarding prostitution and trafficking has contributed to a more serious way of governmental dealing with these problems. Many countries are now studying the Swedish model of the sex trade law and are thinking of punishing the persons that are purchasing sex instead of the prostitutes. The implementation of these laws and decisions seem hard to push through, though.
To conclude, the year of 2012 is called the time of awareness.
-Malin Thörnqvist for Realstars