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Sexual Exploitation Among Honduran Girls 'Extremely Worrying'

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With prevalence of poverty and weaknesses in the education system, the rate of girls that are sexually exploited is "extremely worrying" in Honduras, according to a United Nations independent expert.

In the wake of a ten-day visit to the Central American country, Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Najat Maalla M'jid reported that the scope of the sale and sexual exploitation in Honduras continues to be difficult to determine due to the lack of systematic denunciation caused by fear of retaliation and stigmatization.

She adds that large number of young women also get pregnant due to abuse by relatives. She noted that the lack of sex education does not allow children to be aware of the inherent risks of sexual relations and early pregnancies.

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Rangoon, Burma. August 8, 1945. A young ethnic Chinese woman who was in one of the Imperial Japanese Army's "comfort battalions" is interviewed by an Australian Allied officer. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
"Weaknesses in the education system, poverty, socioeconomic disparities, insecurity and violence all contribute to children's vulnerability to multiple forms of economic and/or sexual exploitation." - UN Expert

The UN expert called on Honduras to increase its efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation She adds that the country still faces many challenges to ensure they are not victims of prostitution, pornography and abuse.

In her vist to Honduras, the UN expert also visited centres dedicated to the protection of children who have been victims of violence and abuse, where she spoke to children and teenagers about their experiences.

Ms. Maalla M'jid noted that reforms at a national and local level have not been effective due to a lack of coordination among institutions, limited resources, and slow judicial investigations, which do not ensure protection to victims and witnesses.

Sex eploitation among girls is one of the challenges faced by the international community.

Estimates are that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized in some way before they reach the age of 18 around the world.

Reports say sex trafficking of women and children has not abated and may in fact be increasing in places.

US "Trafficking in Persons Report" tells the world that no country is immune to the human trafficking scourge, and that no government is doing a perfect job combating it.

The two regions like East Asia and the Pacific, and South and Central Asia-are hit particularly hard by this crime.

Study show that it is local populations, more than Western "sex tourists," that fuel the demand for sex trafficking, and law enforcement needs to address both sectors for prevention to be truly successful. Widening gender gaps in China and India are fueling the demand for young girls as forced brides or for commercial sexual exploitation.

In addition, forced labor is highly prevalent among migrant populations, and that Asia has the world's largest share of labor migration. Migrants from both the East Asia and Pacific and South and Central Asia regions are subjected to forced labor in recognized destination countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and the Persian Gulf.

On June 2011, Honduras was reinstated into the Organization of American States (OAS).

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the reinstatement of Honduras into(OAS), which had expelled the Central American nation two years ago after a military coup d'état ousted former president Manuel Zelaya in 2009.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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