Child exploitation and abuse 'nothing less than terrorism'


The head of the UN Children's Fund has demanded urgent action to stamp out a multi-billion-dollar global racket, saying it is destroying millions of young lives.

Ms Carol Bellamy, executive director of Unicef, yesterday told a conference near Tokyo that there were no simple solutions to the evils of child prostitution, trafficking and pornography.

"The commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of children is nothing less than a form of terrorism, one whose wanton destruction of young lives and futures must not be tolerated for another year, another day, another hour."

Organisers reaffirmed a pledge by governments, UN agencies and children's rights groups at the first such gathering in Stockholm five years ago, to work together to eradicate the scourge, but they said far more needed to be done. Unicef released a report last week highlighting the enormity of the global child sex trade.