A number of nations participating in a Bali conference on legal protection for the victims of child sexual exploitation have urged that financial compensation be given to children victims of the commercial sex industry.
As reported by Suara Pembaruan, the conference participants contend that the courts have it their powers to seize the assets of those committing such acts, with the proceeds distributedto the victims of such crimes and their families.
Ahmad Sofian, the coordinator of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) Conference said on Friday, October 25, 2013: “In the meeting it was concluded that imprisonment for those who perpetrate sexual crimes against children was insufficient, but that these criminals must also pay compensation. If the criminal cannot pay, the responsibility for compensation must move to their country of origin.”
Sofian said the countries participating in the conference hoped that laws and regulations protecting children from sexual exploitation would soon be amended to allow the proposed compensation scheme.
In addition to financial compensation, Sofian said countries need to also consider how to rehabilitate the health and mental condition of the victims of the child sex industry.
The ECPAT Conference, held in cooperation with the French Embassy, took place in Nusa Dua October 23-24, 2013, with delegates from the police, public prosecutors, judges, academics, journalists and community activists from more than 14 countries participating in the seminars and discussions.
The Conference also examined the ability of law enforcement officials to handle cases of child sexual exploitation. “The police and prosecutors, for example, must have the ability to communicate with the victims. They need to posses interviewing skills. The questions posed to victims must not add to their suffering by asking victims to repeatedly repeat the details of their victimization,” said Sofian.
Sofian insists that the victims of childhood sexual exploitation have the right to therapy and rehabilitation.
He said that the decisions of the ECPAT Conference are not binding on the participating countries, but are given to be considered in formulating laws regarding the sexual exploitation of children.
“ECPAT Indonesia will bring the conclusions of the conference to the Ministers for the Empowerment of Women and the Protection of Children, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights and legislators for further action and consideration in introducing laws and amendments on child protection,” said Sofian.
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