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Fiji Time: 3:01 PM on Friday 18 April

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EU fights child sex exploitation

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE European Union is determined to do all it can to bring the "poisonous cycle of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the Pacific to an end".

This was the word from EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs who spoke at yesterday's Homes of Hope summit in Suva.

Mr Jacobs said it was particularly important to bring such issues to the surface in an open and transparent manner so everyone could be heard.

"Trafficking and sexual exploitation of children is certainly one of the most abject forms of crime as it is targeting those we cherish most and those it is our duty to protect and to care for," Mr Jacobs told participants.

"And although we are here today (yesterday) to make headways in the fight against this curse in the Pacific, it is important to keep in mind that it is not only affecting our partners in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, it is also affecting the EU, within its borders and across its communities."

Mr Jacobs said the news of increasing cases of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of youth and children was worrying.

"The EU has, therefore, launched concrete actions looking at children and women's rights and their protection.

"The EU strategy on child protection focuses on three inter-related aims — preventing violence, protecting and supporting the victims and prosecuting the perpetrators.

"Prevention and protection have been our priorities so far."