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Sexual Abuse

  • The most hidden and underreported form of violence against children and youth is sexual abuse.
  • Sexual abuse affects both boys and girls and often happens within the family, in schools and the community, in the majority of cases (outside armed conflict zones) perpetrated by someone familiar to the child.
  • Additionally, commercial sexual exploitation of children continues to be one of the most pervasive violations of children’s rights in South Asia and includes child abuse through child prostitution, sex tourism, child pornography, internet pornography and trafficking.
  • Recent studies provide evidence of sexual exploitation of boys to a much larger extent than previously recognized.
  • The victims of exploitation and abuse are also at high risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Sexual abuse and exploitation are seldom reported because of a lack of child protection services, a lack of awareness-raising of them as human rights violations and crimes and because of the stigma faced by victims of such abuse and exploitation.

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