Authorities in Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, say parents do not report situations of sexual exploitation of their children, mainly for fear and social pressures.
Oscar Pinzon, head of the Unit for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (Unidad de Protección a la Infancia y la Adolescencia) said, “parents in this situation do not report for fear of being judged or because family, friends, and society will reject their daughters. They do not give authorities all the information”.
Authorities say, in the first quarter of 2013, they have only six registered cases of children being victims of sexual exploitation and multiple allegations of rape and carnal abuse in Bogota.
Pinzon said that their efforts to combat this type of activity is hindered by parents failing to file a report.
“The intelligence work become more arduous and sometimes we have to resort to months of monitoring in order to capture these individuals. We believe that there are many more cases and if parents make complaints and arrests made public, there may appear more victims,” explained Pinzon.
The most recent case of victims of child pornography was recorded in the district of Puente Aranda, in the town of Usaquén, where children were lured under the false promise of a future in modeling. In this case, the subject forced two children, one 15 and one 16 years of age, into doing erotic videos.
Authorities warn that those involved in child pornography and sexual exploitation of minors lure their victims, mainly girls, in one city and then take them to other cities to make the sex videos.
Child sexual abuse in Colombia
Child pornography and sexual exploitation are issues in Colombia. Children are mainly affected by poverty and end up in local brothels; others are placed into regional and international prostitution trade networks. These networks are often run by bigger syndicates also involved in narcotics, weapons, and counterfeiting. Children may be traded to neighboring countries like Venezuela, or to markets in countries in Europe, the Middle East or Asia.
Children’s rights in Colombia and issues related to children are mostly under the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar, or the ICBF, which is translated as the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare.. Colombia signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 and later ratified the CRC on September 2, 1990.
According to GlobalGiving sexual abuse occurs in about 10,000 children in Colombia. GlobalGiving is a charity fundraising website that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities.
Sources: Caracol Radio. Wikipedia, GlobalGiving