World Day of Fight Against Sexual Exploitation Date in the current year: March 4, 2024

World Day of Fight Against Sexual Exploitation World Day of Fight Against Sexual Exploitation has been observed every March 4 since 2009. It was created to raise awareness of a global issue what disproportionately effects women and children.

Sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse that involves someone taking advantage of another person’s sexuality for the perpetrator’s own benefit. Victims of sexual exploitation are forced to engage in sexual activities by coercion or other means. Common types of sexual exploitation include sex trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children (child prostitution, child pornography, child sex tourism), cybersex trafficking, forced prostitution, and forced marriage.

In most cases, sexual exploitation is a form of modern slavery, and therefore the terms sexual exploitation and sexual slavery are often used interchangeably. Sexual slavery is classified as a human rights abuse and crime against humanity. When committed during an international armed conflict, sexual enslavement is considered as a war crime and a breach of the Geneva Conventions.

Although men can be victims of sexual exploitation, the majority of those affected are women and children. The problem of sexual exploitation is a global one and affects both developing and developed countries, but again, some regions are more vulnerable than others. They include parts of Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and African countries with traditional religious practices like ritual servitude (Benin, Ghana and Togo).

According to a 2016 report by the International Labor Organization, 5 million people worldwide were victims of forced sexual exploitation. However, the number may actually be higher because the covert nature of sex trafficking makes it hard to collect reliable data. According to UNISEF, over 3 million children globally are affected by prostitution; the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimates that roughly 20% of girls and 10% of boys experience sexual abuse or exploitation before the age of 18.

Sex trafficking is a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry that often caters to powerful people, which makes it hard to eliminate. In addition, victims of sexual exploitation are often trafficked across country lines, which makes cases hard to prosecute due to jurisdictional concerns. This is why international cooperation in the fight against sexual exploitation is so important. There are international agreements that call for an international effort to raise sexual exploitation awareness, for example, the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, but there is still much to be done in this regard.

World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation was created to raise awareness of the scale of sexual exploitation and unite governments, international organizations, the civil society, and other stakeholders in the fight against it. You can contribute to the fight by spreading awareness and donating to an organization that helps victims of sexual exploitation.

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