1 Oct 2013

Better campaigns needed to warn about Pacific sex tourism

4:17 pm on 1 October 2013

An organisation which works to end child prostitution and people trafficking says there is still room for improvement in awareness campaigns about sex tourism in the Pacific.

The director of the New Zealand branch of ECPAT, Alan Bell, says he suspects there is some sex tourism is the region, and his group has anecdotal evidence of some trafficking in Samoa.

He says while law enforcement agencies are essential and robust, public awareness and education also play a vital part.

Mr Bell says sex tourism is not an easy topic to raise.

"Our belief is that it should be given publicity, should be talked about and people should be made aware so that they understand the risks, and even become aware of what sort of indicators they might look for and what to do about the situation if they think something inappropriate is taking place."

Alan Bell says the Samoa Victim Support group is now an affiliate of ECPAT NZ, and they are working on ways to make people more aware of child prostitution, people trafficking and sex tourism.