19 Apr 2011

Pacific children vulnerable to sex tourism - study

6:52 pm on 19 April 2011

A new study says that children in the Pacific region are vulnerable to sex tourism, cheap labour and illegal adoption but there's limited evidence of the extent of the problem.

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released its study, saying little is known about the extent and nature of child trafficking in the Pacific region.

An AIC senior research analyst Jacqueline Joudo Larsen says there is a growing response to trafficking and exploitation of children in Asia but the problem in the Pacific region needs further research.

The Pacific region is characterised by a largely youthful population with almost 37 percent under 15.

Ms Larsen says issues underpinning the vulnerability of children in the Pacific region include the low availability and high cost of education and lack of employment opportunities for young people.