Youth Can Help Create Awareness on the Issue of Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism

Tourism is an important economic activity for Indonesia. The number of foreign as well as domestic tourist, is increasing each year. It makes tourism ranked as the 4th largest economic sector in 2013 that contributes to around 347 trillion rupiahs.[1] On the other hand, tourism industry can also give a negative impact on child protection issue, especially Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC for short). Burn (2014) in Janice Joseph stated that Indonesia is the 4th destination for child sex predators in the world and the 2nd in Southeast Asia after Thailand.[2]

One form of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children that has received considerable media and public attention over the past 15 years is child sex tourism or Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism (SECTT). [3] Every year, an estimated 1.2 million child victims are trafficked globally for sexual exploitation or cheap labor.[4] In Indonesia, an estimated 40.000 to 70.000 children are victims of sexual exploitation.[5] Approximately 30% of the sex workers in Indonesia are below 18 years old.[6]

International tourists are predicted to reach 1.8 billion by 2030[7], multi-stakeholder interventions needed to prevent the negative impact of tourism industry and to address SECTT issue, including youth involvement. The involvement of youth, especially young travelers offers potential benefits both to young travelers themselves and to others. As we know that traveling is very popular nowadays and people are more traveling than ever before which means big opportunity for us to spread this issue.

In 2020, it’s predicted to happen that Indonesia will have demographic bonus when the number of people in the productive age will be higher than the elderly and children.[8] A demographic bonus can lead to a positive impact where the number of youth in the population has become dominant. KOMPAK Jakarta (ECPAT Indonesia youth group) is a youth-led organization who has a big attention to raise children’s and youth’s awareness on CSEC issue, believe this demographic bonus is an opportunity for us to increase the issue of SECTT and invite young people to actively participate in raising awareness.

Young people are considered to have a better understanding about the trend and the current situation about sexual exploitation of children which is different from adult’s perspective. It validates that the involvement of youth is important in engaging other youth to play a vital role.

Abdurrachman Wisnu M |Esti Damayanti

Sources :



[3] Combating child sex tourism : Questions and answers

[4], tanggal 22 Februari 2016, Pukul 22.11 WIB.

[5], tanggal 22 Februari 2016, Pukul 22.14 WIB.

[6] Ibid,.

[7], tanggal 22 Februari 2016, Pukul 22.18 WIB.

[8] diaksespadadiaksespadahariSenin, tanggal 22 Februari 2016, Pukul 22.26 WIB.


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