You may have been quite shocked by the news item in our most recent email, “British paedophile found guilty of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Colombia”. We are grateful for your emails and comments. We’d like to tell you a bit more about what COTA does to address this increasing problem of the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Colombia.
Please do continue to comment on our facebook posts, tweet on twitter and share our news items with people you think will find them of interest. This all helps to raise awareness of this crime, and our partners’ vital work to stop it in Colombia.
Bringing to justice people who travel to Colombia to abuse children is a vital part of the fight against sexual exploitation. COTA’s partner, Renacer, has campaigned hard to improve the law protecting children and continues to work with judges and the police to improve conviction rates.
But this is only part of what needs to be done.
As well as threats from foreign ‘tourists’, many of the factors that put children at risk from potential abusers come from within families and communities themselves.
Families may have little concern for children’s rights. A community may tolerate sexual exploitation as a normal part of a child’s development and family members may even collude in it. People may have no idea of the extent to which sexual exploitation of children goes on or of the damage that it does to young lives. Very often families lack the knowledge about how best to protect children and how to get the help they need to do this.
This is why, as well as working with government and the tourist industry, Renacer is working within children’s own communities providing workshops at schools, specialist teacher training and child-led media campaigns at a local level. This help children protect themselves from the risk of exploitation, wherever that risk comes from.
With your help, COTA can continue to support Renacer in this vital work. You can make a donation here.
From all of us at COTA, thank you for your support.