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'Britain neglecting country’s sex tourists'

world Updated: Aug 18, 2008 00:14 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The government is “turning a blind eye” to British sex tourists and failing to prevent abuse despite having laws in place for 10 years, claimed End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (Epcat), charity group in its latest report.

The Home Office said that the UK had tough laws but Ecpat wants an overhaul of the way Britain deals with nationals convicted abroad.

It wants offenders returned to the UK, put on the sex offenders register, and in some cases have travel restricted.

In its latest report — a follow-up of the earlier report in 2006 — Epcat which covers 70 countries said that Britons figure prominently in international child abuse statistics, including tourists to India.

“Between 2006-2008 at least 15 British nationals have been charged in Thailand alone for the sexual abuse of children. Others have been prosecuted in India, Ghana, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Albania to name a few. Many of them have been teachers or volunteers in orphanages.”

In view of the charges against two British nationals Alan Waters and Duncan Grant, the Epcat’s latest report is a sort of wake-up call for India, and for the authorities to seek closer cooperation with relevant units of the Home Office here. There are already reports of child abuse on a large scale in Goa. According an estimate by Child Relief and You (CRY), published some time ago, over 10,000 paedophiles allegedly visit Goa every year.

Another assessment by Children’s Rights in Goa (CRG) said that at any given point there are at least 100 paedophiles on the prowl in Goa. According to field data collected by national and international child rights organisations, a paedophile in Goa sexually exploits at least 20 children during his or her visit.

The Epcat report said, while Britain prosecuted only five sex offenders for child sexual abuse abroad since 1997, the USA has prosecuted over 50, and Australia has prosecuted over 25.