OM: “Investigation into the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of minors”
WILLEMSTAD - The tackling of trafficking in human beings has been a high priority within the Public Prosecution (OM) Curaçao. Human trafficking is the exploitation of other people usually for the sole purpose of financial gain for the perpetrators. The OM receives more and more signals, mostly directly from aid agencies, but also from the daily practice of criminal cases where perpetrators of sexual abuse of children are prosecuted and punished, that such sexual abuse is often accompanied by financial gain for facilitating third parties.
The suspicion is that underage girls in Curaçao are subjected to commercial sex. They are offered for prostitution and therefore sexually exploited for commercial purposes. This is a form of child trafficking, punishable by law (Article 2: 240 of the Penal Code).
The consequences of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children in the short term: sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, abortion, school dropout. In the long term: psychological trauma, addiction, violence victims that makes new victims. Prevention is therefore also necessary for the prevention of many other disruptive problems within this society. The fight against and prevention of sexual exploitation cannot only be achieved by the criminal law. It is a complex issue that has to be dealt with in an integral way.
The Public Prosecutor's Office wants to cooperate with the government, authorities and ministries to provide an impetus for an integrated approach to sexual exploitation of minors. This is envisaged through a project in which, first of all through research, information will be collected to get a realistic picture of the way in which the phenomenon is manifested on the island. This is done in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development, Labor and Welfare (SOAW).
On the basis of the findings there will be an integral, multidisciplinary plan and an approach on the theme sexual exploitation of minors. This concerns issues such as signaling / recognizing, reporting, registration, monitoring, policy, legislation, relief, assistance, investigation and prosecution.