Scope and Characteristics of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Southeast Asia: A Review of Literature

Sex trafficking of children, known today as commercial sexual exploitation of children(CSEC), is highly prevalent in Southeast Asia. The largest number of victims trafficked annually in the world comes from this region. This study examines distinctive aspects of CSEC in the region and research-related issues. A total of 69 studies were selected and reviewed for the purpose of this paper. The reviewed literature shows child prostitution and child sex tourism as the most prevalent forms of CSEC in Southeast Asia. Poverty was the major pushing and pulling factor of CSEC in the region. Southeast Asia is one of the globe's biggest child sex tourism hot spots due to the limited enforcement of child protection policies in the 11 countries in the region. Most studies on CSEC in the region focused more on the prevalence of CSEC than on consequences of the problem on victims. There was little research done on issues of mental health of victims. There was also limited research on the prevalence of CSEC among boys and LGBTQ youth. In addition, the reviewed literature showed the following: more qualitative research than quantitative and mixed methods studies; substantial number of conceptual articles on CSEC lacking focus on specific issues affecting child victims of CSEC; number of studies lacked details on research designs and recruitment strategies. Additionally, ethical issues in research about CSEC in the region were not identified or discussed in most of the reviewed literature. Social, cultural and economic environments of the problem were reviewed. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


Outline/Structure of the Poster Presentation

Instruction/ Methods/ Results/ Conclusions and Implications

Learning Outcome

At the end of the presentation, the audience will:

  1. Develop an international perspective on the problem of sex trafficking, and especially CSEC
  2. Understand the distinctive characteristics of CSEC in Southeast Asia
  3. Learn about methodological and ethical issues in research about CSEC in Southeast Asia

Target Audience

Professionals and Researchers

Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 5 years ago