Tue, Dec 11, 2012 - Page 3 News List

ECPAT continues fight against abuse

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Public education is also important, Capaldi said.

Although criminality is underground, there will always be people in the community who see things, he said.

“They may not exactly know what’s going on, but they can help. We need to empower the public to recognize when a child is in a vulnerable situation and in need of help and to provide them with an opportunity to report their concerns in a safe way,” Capaldi said.

Both Crombie and Capaldi praised the efforts Taiwan has devoted to addressing the problem of child abuse.

Because Taiwan is not a member of the UN, it is not party to the Convention of the Rights to the Child, its Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, child prostitution and child pornography, or any other international or regional convention on the problems.

“The diplomatic challenge has motivated Taiwan to do even more to show the world that this is an important issue concerning it internationally, not just in Taiwan,” Capaldi said.

Crombie said that Taiwan is a world leader in pursuing human rights.

To address problems like sexual abuse of children we need only use our hearts, she said.

“We don’t necessary need UN guidelines to do the right thing,” she said.

In response to a question on the policy adopted by the Taiwanese government last year that would allow red-light zones to be established at the discretion of local governments, Capaldi said that Taiwan “will have to increase its efforts to protect children even more.”

“Whenever you have a commercial sex sector, you will always find a vulnerable group of children who have been sexually exploited. What happens when you legalize prostitution ... it’s quite simply that demand increases and therefore supply increases,” he said.

Crombie, who comes from New Zealand, said that experiences in her country showed that after prostitution is legalized, underground streets workers are usually worse off, children are put in the most vulnerable position and measures to prevent human trafficking fail.

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