Report Outlines Gaps in ASEAN Laws Regarding Child-Sex Tourism
Friday, November 20, 2009 2:10 PM

20 November 2009


A new report highlights the achievements and failures in the laws of member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding child-sex tourism. Mind the Gaps addresses the implementation of international treaties and existing laws in the ten ASEAN nations, including Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The report, the first regionally comparative analysis on child-sex tourism, was compiled at the request of ASEAN national governments and seeks to support NGOs, law enforcement officials, academics, international agencies, and governments combating child-sex tourism.


The report finds that despite being signatory to numerous international treaties to protect children, ASEAN member states still lag in the implementation of those treaties as well as the incorporation of treaty mandates into national laws. The Philippines is the only ASEAN member state to directly mention sex tourism in national legislation, though all ten member states do have laws regarding sex offenses against children. Mind the Gaps argues that ASEAN members should create national laws that “fully align with relevant international instruments; criminalise all forms of child sexual exploitation and abuse; criminalise sexual exploitation through new technologies; provide a consistent definition of a child; criminalise acts that assist or facilitate child-sex tourism; criminalise attempts and preparation to commit child child-sex offences; strengthen bilateral and regional cooperation to ensure successful prosecution; provide proportionate sentencing and appropriate sanctions; protect children and other witnesses throughout all stages of investigations and legal proceedings; and provide services and long-term support to child victims.” (Child Rights Information Network)


Compiled from: Child Rights Information Network, "ASIA: Mind the Gaps: A Comparative Analysis of ASEAN Legal Responses to Child-Sex Tourism," (7 September 2009).