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Mauritius: NGO tackles sexual exploitation

Publish Date: 14 Apr 2004

Source: PANAFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (PANA) DAILY NEWSWIRE: Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA)

NGO tackles sexual exploitation of children in Mauritius

The Mauritian branch of Soriptimist International unveiled a project Wednesday to fight sexual exploitation of children in the country.

Based on a study carried in 2002 by the ministry of Women's Rights, Soriptimist chair Josie Lapierre said figures on commercial sex involving children were alarming.

The report revealed that 2,600 children in Mauritius were sexually exploited.

"The Soriptimist project recommends that communication units be set up in secondary schools to listen to adolescents, increase their awareness of the vice as well as provide support for victims," Lapierre said.

The project has four aims: educate and increase youth awareness of sexual exploitation, target students 12 years old and above in secondary schools, identify and train high school students to join the fight against the sexual abuse.

National Children Council Secretary General Francoise Botte-Noyan lamented that although the maximum sentence for sexual crimes against children below 16 was ten years, judges generally sentence culprits to 3-5 years imprisonment.

©2004 PANAPRESS