A few governments have enacted laws to allow prosecution of its citizens for child sexual abuse committed outside of their home country.
However, while laws against child sex tourism may deter situational offenders who may act impulsively, pedophiles who travel specifically for the purpose of exploiting children are not easily deterred.
The production and distribution of these child sexual abuse and exploitation materials – whether in print, online, or live-streamed – represent a violation of fundamental human rights, and these children need to be protected.” The Philippines has become the global epicentre of the live-stream sexual abuse trade, and many of the victims are children.
In the slums of Manila, a police raid of a child sexual exploitation operation illuminates the challenges the country faces in protecting vulnerable children and prosecuting their abusers.
Although pedophiles are popularly associated with child sex tourism, they are not the majority of users.
There are preferential abusers who prefer children because they perceive the risk of sexually transmitted infections to be lower.
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There are also situational users, which are users who do not actively seek out children but for whom the actual act is opportunistic; there may be a lack of concern to check the age of a prostitute before engaging in sexual activity.
Pedophiles use the Internet to plan their trips by seeking out and trading information about opportunities for child sex tourism and where the most vulnerable children can be found, generally in areas of low income.
Child sex tourism results in both mental and physical consequences for the exploited children, which may include sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS), "drug addiction, pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and possibly death", according to the State Department of the United States.
Child sex tourism, part of the multibillion-dollar global sex tourism industry, is a form of child prostitution within the wider issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children.