This report presents an overview of the findings of four separate studies conducted in vulnerable communities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam on knowledge, attitudes and practices related to child sexual abuse, including in travel and tourism.The studies were undertaken to contribute to the design and conceptual platform of Project Childhood Prevention Pillar.The research provides a general understanding of the awareness, understanding and behaviours in communities around the issue of child sexual abuse.
The introductory chapter provides background information on Project Childhood Prevention Pillar, the sexual abuse of children in travel and tourism, and known trends in the sexual exploitation of children in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) drawing on existing literature. It also outlines the rationale, objectives, methodology, ethical considerations, and limitations of the report. A snapshot is provided of each of the eight selected research sites.
The second chapter describes how children and adults understand concepts relating to childhood, child rights, sexuality, abuse, and related subjects. It also discusses children's knowledge of sex, as well as the sex education and communications children receive and access informing them about sexual abuse.
The third chapter of the report addresses how adults' and children's perceptions and understandings of child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, translated into actual practices and behaviour, how this behaviour was related to forces in the environment of the children, and how individuals and society viewed and responded to these practices and incidents of abuse.
Chapter four reviews additional risks to children of sexual abuse, including by tourists and travellers, pertaining to their environmental, political and broader situation. It also examines what internal and external circumstances and conditions increase or reduce their vulnerability to such abuse. Obstacles hindering proper interventions as well as opportunities to reach children with information and support are also presented.
The fifth and final chapter sets out the overall conclusions of the research for the main components of the study, namely the knowledge, the attitudes and practices, and the vulnerabilities and options for interventions by the program. Strategic recommendations for effective interventions are also included. A bibliography and two appendices complete the report.