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Sex tourism surge

Sex Tourism is a significant portion in terms of national resources for the so called Third Countries; some governments, affected by constant lack of democracy and control, consider the indiscriminate exploitation of national resources as a life-insurance business.

Annoying, ill-mannered, unable to learn few words in a language different from our own and with a decisive bias for pizza and spaghettis that we always prefer to any other local cuisine: indeed, Italians are the worst travellers around the world. According to a recent classification published by Tour Operator Expedia, Portuguese people who are known for deserting restaurants before paying the bill and can be considered Italian "cousins" in this regard, rank even before us. Commonplaces apart, there are few Italians that do not reassemble to the mentioned cliché: one of them is Giorgio Sampec particularly fond of tourist activity since he used to work as a doorkeeper in a camping side at Garda Lake (Italy), a kind of "type voyager" quit and discreet. Nonetheless, since the interview he released to national satiric Tv program Iene and a tapped telephone discussions where he was heard to boast of certain brave deeds he had carried out in some exotic countries, he has become the first Italian citizen to be condemned for sexual-related crimes committed outside national territory. Milan judiciary accused him of being involved in 14 cases of sexual-intercourse with minors between 2001 and 2005 in Thailand; he has been sentenced to a 14 years seclusion in addition to a monetary penalty of 65 000 euros. If the sentence is confirmed by the Appeal judge’s decision, he will remain however an isolated case.

There are some governments who, welcoming particularly well-off tourists, are quite willing to turn a blind eye on exploitation of prostitution while assisting, at the same time, to the swelling of the State budget. That’s why the amount of sex tourists has reared in the past few years while these people continue to frolic undisturbed across insular Asian territories, Eastern Europe and South America with local authorities keeping an apathetic eye. Nonetheless, the great flood of money flowing from tourists pockets ends up directly in the hands of organized crime: sex tourists are in search of what ven those countries allow legal prostitution prohibit: having sex with children. Although minors prostitution is outlowed even in most lenient countries, it can however becomes a source of easy money for mafia groups of every kind.

In Brazil 500 thousands sex tourists visit the country every year, 70 thousands of whom are Italians. In 2004 crowds of thousands of Portuguese, Italian, German and US citizens visited the city of Fortaleza causing a general increase of 13% in the tourist sector if compared with the previous year. Concerned with the unordinary surge, a Parliamentary Inquiry Committee has found out that almost the whole tourist offer of Fortaleza lies in cheap sex service along with low costs flights, inexpensive accommodation and all-inclusive tourist packages. In 2004 Italian Police Authorities applied for the first time the 269 law of Criminal Code allowing the detention of Italian tourist operators responsible of minors sexual exploitation. Some time later in 2005, in occasion of the Social Forum of Porto Alegre, the Antiglobal Activists, as they are named by the Press, added an additional chapter to the long list of gloomy consequences resulted from Neoliberalism: the Child Sex Tourism. It was Brazil to start the international campaign "Stop Sexual Tourism" and thought it can’t rely on political willingness, the so called Child and the Prostitution Tourism Watch like many other ideas originated from the international movement, can now count on the activity of its Net. An online archive is being developed and includes conventions, master’s thesis and dissertations, tails and plays, accounts of successful experiences against prostitution, in a word everything involved with sexual tourism. It is an Open Source Archive accessible to everyone who want to get information and hopefully take action. The Watch will also make soon available on the site any report by voyagers aimed to identify, across the global tourist network, the traffickers of prostituted minors and children, tourist agencies and operators, air companies, hotel keepers, taxi-drivers, restaurants and discos owners or public trustees who get black bribes for turning a blind eye. A tourist, if sufficiently conscious of the phenomenon, can sometime make a lot more than the Interpol.

Das BundesForum Kinder- und Jugendreisen e.V. (Berlin)wendet sich in seinen Leitsätzen gegen jede Form von sexueller Ausbeutung, plädiert auf der anderen Seite aber auch für Selbstbestimmung. Denn Kindern und Jugendlichen müßte ein Freiraum zum Erlernen gegeben werden.

In diesem Themenbereich arbeitet das BundesForum u.a. mit der BZgA Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (Köln) als Partner der Aktion On Tour l’amour!, der BAG Jugendschutz (Berlin) und der Arbeitsgemeinschaft zum Schutz der Kinder gegen sexuelle Ausbeutung ecpat End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (Bangkok/Freiburg)zusammen.

Reiseveranstalter können das Travelpack beim Servicebereich des BundesForum in Leipzig unter der Telefonnummer 03 41-9 60 67 16 bestellen.