The most hidden and underreported form of violence against children and youth is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse affects both boys and girls and often happens within the family, in schools and the community, in the majority of cases (outside armed conflict zones) perpetrated by someone familiar to the child. Additionally, commercial sexual exploitation of children continues to be one of the most pervasive violations of children’s rights in South Asia and includes child abuse through child prostitution, sex tourism, child pornography, internet pornography and trafficking. Recent studies provide evidence of sexual exploitation of boys to a much larger extent than previously recognized. The victims of exploitation and abuse are also at high risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Sexual abuse and exploitation are seldom reported because of a lack of child protection services, a lack of awareness-raising of them as human rights violations and crimes and because of the stigma faced by victims of such abuse and exploitation.
By 2015, all States have taken the necessary steps to end sexual abuse and exploitation against children by adopting comprehensive legislation, ratifying all relevant international and regional instruments and enforcing a Code of Conduct for telecommunications services (i.e. internet providers, mobile phone companies, internet cafes) and travel and tour outlets to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation.
1. # of States that have legislation to prohibit all forms of sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment including physical and non-physical forms in all settings against both boys and girls
2. # of States that are enforcing and implementing legislation that prohibits all forms of sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment including physical and non-physical forms in all settings against both boys and girls
3. # of States that have ratified the UNCRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
4. # of States that have ratified ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour
5. # of States that prevent and protect children from exploitation in brothels, dance bars and restaurants and similar establishments
6. # of telecommunications services in each country that have adopted and enforce a Code of Conduct
7. # of travel and tourism industry in each country that have adopted and enforce a Code of Conduct