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About Crossing Borders. Lessons learned and reaffirmed in the Robert M. sex-offender case. Bas Vogelvang Avans University. 1. Internationally active 2. Very young children. 1. Less vulnerable for detection and trial Very young children 2. Victim’s age and abuser relationship :

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About crossing borders

AboutCrossing Borders

Lessons learned and reaffirmed

in the Robert M. sex-offender case.

Bas Vogelvang

Avans University

1 internationally active 2 very young children
1. Internationallyactive2. Veryyoungchildren

  • 1. Lessvulnerablefordetection and trial

    • Veryyoungchildren

  • 2. Victim’sage and abuserrelationship:

    Family Other

    Victim’s age member acquaintance Stranger

    0-5 (10%) 49% 48% 3%

    6-11 (58%) 42% 53% 5%

    12-17 (32%) 24% 66% 10%

    • Snyder, 2000

  • Barriers: 1) arrangeavailability 2) useforce

    3) avoiddetection 4) minimizeguilt

3 offender age 4 offender type
3. Offenderage4. Offender type

  • 3. Relativelyyoung:

  • 4. ‘Lover’ and predator:

Age %

<21 3%

21-30 10%

31-40 24%

41-50 37%

51-60 19%

>60 6%

WODC 2004

Strong pedosexual Weak pedosexual

preoccupation preoccupation

Frequent child contact ‘lover’, often homosexual incest

Incidental / infrequent child contact pedosexual predator opportunistic predator

Knight & Prentky, 1990

5 internet sharing 6 out of sight
5. Internet sharing6. Out of sight

  • 5. Notverycommon, increasedhisvulnerabilility

    • Linkedwithorganized crime

  • 6. Robert M. profitedfrom a lack of transnationallegislation and co-operation

  • cross-national pedosexual childabuse is onlyonedimension of cross-nationalchildsexualexploitation:

    • ChildSexTourism

    • ChildTrafficking

    • ChildPornography

    • Child Cybercrime

    • Associated ‘demand and marketrelated’ crime

Child sex tourism destination countries vogelvang wolthuis van den braak 2004
ChildsextourismdestinationcountriesVogelvang, Wolthuis & van den Braak 2004

Child sex tourism offender types ecpat 2010
Childsextourism: offender typesECPAT 2010

  • Situational child sex offender

    • Takes the opportunities presented to him to use a minor as sex object

  • Preferential child sex tourist

    • Actively travels and seeks out minors for sexual contact

    • Pedosexuals as subgroup, sometimes working together

  • Both types of offenders create a local demand in receiving countries

Creation of a sex tourist market
Creation of a sextouristmarket

  • sexual desires and self-created opportunities of sex-offenders

  • poverty and underdevelopment, lack of education, urge for survival

  • political and social disruption and the existence of organized crime

  • lack of or insufficient national and extraterritorial laws, combined with corruption and lack of enforcement

    • legal tourist activity (hotels, bars, transport) also profits from the sex tourist market

  • cultural factors, most importantly opinions about girls and females and sexuality of minors, often religiously motivated

  • family circumstances

    • family pressure

    • sexual offending within the family

    • broken families and runaway children / orphans / adoption

  •  child trafficking

  •  child labour

Example baltic states 2000
Example: Baltic states, 2000

  • Downfall of communism: no immediate alternative social structure

  • Prostitution amongst street children

  • Russia and Scandinavia as sending countries

  • Linked with organized crime and trafficking to both Western Europe and Baltic states

Child trafficking in one year
Childtrafficking in oneyear

  • 1.2 million children trafficked worldwide (UN).

  • Europe: 200,000 individuals trafficked annually from eastern Europe

    • Significant proportion being children being forced into child labour, prostitution and crime.

      • Terre des Hommes: 6,000 children between the ages of 12 and 16, with more than 650 being forced to work as sex slaves in Italy.

    • Increase of abuse of adoption procedures

    • Internet allows for finding and abusing children outside holiday resorts  change in trafficking destinations

Child pornography and cybercrime
Childpornography and Cybercrime

  • Childpornography:

    • Productionincreasinglylinked to childsextourism

    • Consequentlylinked to trafficking of children to producenewpornographicmaterial

  • Cybercrime:

    • Linked with blackmail, child pornography, child trafficking and child sex tourism

    • Increase of online solicitation of children for self-generated webcam child abuse material

    • ECPAT:

      • Link equivalent legislation in all jurisdictions with integrated partnerships with the private sector, NGOs, education specialists and other stakeholders

      • Example: ROBERT: Risk taking Online Behaviour Empowerment through Research and Training

      • Internet and Online Service Providers need to install reporting mechanisms

Response is slow but steady
Response is slow butsteady

  • Pioneering work of NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations

  • Followed by governments by increasing number of international conventions and treaties.

  • World Congresses Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation (Stockholm 1996, Yokohama in 2001).

  • Europe: Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Adopted 2000.

  • Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

  • Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime

  • Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on protecting the dignity, security and privacy of children on the Internet 

  • > 30 countries with extraterritorial laws that allow the prosecution of their nationals for crimes committed abroad, regardless of whether the offense is punishable in the country where it occurred.


  • Children at Risk in Baltic Sea Region

  • CRIN - Child Rights Information Network

  • ENOC - The European Network of Ombudsmen

  • ISPCAN - International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

  • SEECRAN - South East European Child Rights Action Network

  • ECPAT - End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes

  • Save The Children

  • The Separated Children in Europe Programme

  • ICMEC - The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

  • EURONET - The European Children's Network

  • EveryChild

Operation predator
Operation Predator

Operation rescue europol
OperationRescue / Europol

Recommendations improve
Recommendations: improve …

  • Prevention and treatment of (repeat) victims in receiving countries

  • Offender treatment availability and efforts for social inclusion combined with control and supervision, e.g. Circles of Support and Accountability

  • National and extraterritorial laws for sex offenders

  • Self-regulation and participation in legislation of (inter-)national organizations:

    • international / global trade companies,

    • tourist industries and national tourism departments,

    • national police and justice departments

    • internet providers

  • Role of NGOs combating child sexual abuse: Help them to ...

    • combine their efforts for collecting information and sharing it with (inter-) national organizations

    • launchmore worldwide awareness campaigns and local support programs

  • Hiring protocols and integrity screening of professionals & volunteers working with children

  • Assessment and intervention competence of police officers and child protection workers