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Child Sex Tourism is the commercial sexual exploitation of children by foreigners. It involves a person or persons travelling from their own country to another country (usually less developed), to engage in sexual acts with children while overseas.
The definition of child in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is “every human being below the age of 18 years”. It is a right of children through this Convention to be protected from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
As a party to the Convention, New Zealand takes the protection of children very seriously. It is one of several countries that have passed legislation enabling a New Zealander engaging in this kind of criminal activity overseas to be prosecuted in New Zealand.
Under New Zealand law, protection that applies to children living in New Zealand applies to children living overseas as well.
As a result, it is an offence:
The penalties in New Zealand for these offences against children in any country are:
The penalties relating to child pornography vary due to the different types of offences that fall within this category of offending. Depending on the type of offending, a term of 1, 5 or 10 year(s) maximum imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $20,000, $50,000, $100,000 or $200,000 are available. Some of the offences, in this category, have different penalties for individuals and body corporates.
It is irrelevant that, by reason of the age of the child or young person, the act is lawful in the country in which it took place.
A New Zealand citizen engaging in such criminal activity may be prosecuted under the laws of the country in which the crime is committed.
What can you do as a traveller?
For more information, tips for travellers and how to make a report to ECPAT New Zealand - End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, Child Sex Tourism and Trafficking in Children for sexual purposes, see www.ecpat.org.nz
Page last updated: Thursday, 17-Feb-2011 16:53:01 NZDT