To protect children against abuse from travelling offenders


Säg vad du såg/Say what you saw

The Philippines, Cambodia, Sweden, Thailand

Joel Borgström
[email protected]

People who sexually exploit children often actively seek out situations where they can avoid being detected. Some countries with widespread poverty and weak child protection systems have therefore been particularly affected by so-called traveling offenders, people who abuse children during a trip or longer stay in another country. Swedish legislation makes it possible to prosecute and convict Swedish citizens who sexually abuse children abroad, provided that Swedish police is informed of those crimes.

Increased difficulty for Swedish offenders to exploit children

A donation from the Swedish Postcode Lottery has made it possible for Childhood, the Swedish police, ECPAT Sweden, the Gender Equality Agency and the Child Safe Movement to initiate a partnership to make it more difficult for travelling offenders to abuse children in three high-risk countries: Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Increased knowledge among travelers, travel companies and Swedish residents abroad

In the project Säg vad du såg (“Say what you saw”) Childhood works in the three pilot countries in order to increase the knowledge of sexual abuse in the context of travel and tourism. We primarily target travelers, travel companies and Swedish long-term residents abroad. In that context we inform the public about the different ways offenders approach children and encourage them to report suspicions of abuse. We also work to strengthen child protection services, for example by expanding the number of “Child Safe Agents”, who are located in strategic places where children are at risk of being exploited. In cases where children are suspected to be abused or have been abused we work with APLE Cambodia, an organization who assists the Cambodian police in investigations of travelling offenders and provide support for victims. Finally, we work to identify and implement improved policies, routines and laws that enable us all to take full responsibility and stop Swedish offenders from abusing children in other countries.

Photo: Britta Holmberg