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Targeted training strengthens criminal justice responses to child sexual exploitation



Bangkok (Thailand), 27 July 2016
- Prosecutors and judges from across Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam have undergone specialised training to enhance the prosecution and adjudication of sexual crimes against children in their respective countries. Held over the course of July, the workshops also included participants from the respective justice ministries, and law enforcement officials, in an effort to address gaps across the criminal justice spectrum.



Rapid and unabated growth of Southeast Asia's tourism sector Southeast Asia is creating new economic and social opportunities, but is also leaving children in high-risk tourism areas increasingly vulnerable to exploitation. As part of UNODC's Criminal Justice Programme, the training responded to these challenges by assisting Member States to strengthen criminal justice processes to effectively combat and respond to child sexual exploitation.

Training participants built skills to identify and prosecute travelling child sex offenders, and identified key strategies to improve the prosecution and adjudication of sexual crimes against children. Protection mechanisms for children, and the rights of child victims and witnesses during all phases of criminal justice proceedings, was also a big focus of the workshops.

"Children need special protection when they come into contact with the criminal justice system", said Ms. Noriko Shibata, UNODC Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer. "The training is part of UNODC's concerted effort towards strengthening the capacity of justice professionals and enhancing cooperation among various sectors to be able to prevent and respond to violence against children."

Trainees were encouraged to share real case examples and jointly provide practical solutions on how child victims and witnesses should be interviewed and prepared to testify in court. The importance of effective cooperation with law enforcement agencies, NGOs, child welfare organisations and international counterparts also carried particular emphasis.

The training series demonstrates the commitment of the countries to individually and collectively combat the serious issue of child sexual exploitation, and improve child protection strategies and effectively prosecute offenders.

 

Click here to read more about UNODC's Project Childhood Programme.

Click here to read more about UNODC's work on Criminal Justice Systems.