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The Growing Problem of Pedophilia in Bali

UNICEF Sponsored Workshop in Nusa Dua Highlight Growing Problem of Commercial and Sexual Exploitation of Children in Bali.

Bali News:
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Experts speaking at a UNICEF-sponsored seminar held in Nusa Dua on December 4, 2006, warned that the incidence of sexual exploitation of children is expanding at an alarming rate in Bali.

Speaking at a Workshop of the Sexual Exploitation and Commercialization of Children, Anna-Karin Jatfor, an expert staff of UNICEF, admitted that monitoring such activity is problematic, although the government has sufficient information to attack the root causes of the problem.

The workshop reported that many under-aged sex workers are in evidence on Bali streets, night clubs, entertainment centers and hotels. According to Jatfors, young people who drop out from school are mong those most susceptible to commercialization and sexual exploitation.

She went on to warn that the intensification of pedophilic activities in the tourism sector is obvious, with sophisticated crime syndicates now involved in the illicit trade of children. The UN expert also warned that what can be seen of the trade in children only touches the tip of a much larger, less visible iceberg.

While there have recently been a number of high-profile prosecutions of pedophiles in Indonesia, Jatfors said a much more intense effort is needed to wipe out this practice in Lombok and Bali which has become a target for Australian pedophiles. She estimated some 10,000 children in Indonesia have already fallen prey to sexual exploitation or sexual violence over the past few years, with most cases going unreported.

Both a Local and Foreign Element to the Problem

According to Bali police official speaking at the meeting, 27 cases of pedophilia had been handled in Bali since 2005. While all cases initially involved only foreigners, recent cases have also established similar crimes committed against children by Bali's endemic population.

The Police Official, Sang Ayu Putu Alit, told the meeting: "I must underline that the perpetrators of pedophilia are no longer limited to foreigners, but now also includes our own people. This condition must receive our serious attention."

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