Child sex tourism

Child sex tourism (CST) involves people who commit a criminal offence in engaging in sexual acts with children living in foreign countries.

People engaging in CST take unfair advantage of the fact that law enforcement in other parts of the world often is weaker than it is in their own countries. They also exploit the poverty, social misery, and naivety of the most underprivileged in foreign destinations.

The main intention of sex tourists is to establish contact with minors in order to sexually exploit them.

In Switzerland, the sexual exploitation of children is a criminal offence liable to prosecution under article 187 of the Swiss Criminal Code. Depending on the seriousness of the circumstances of the offence, further penal provisions may apply, such as Article 189 (sexual coercion) and Article 190 (rape).

Swiss federal authorities have stepped up their efforts in fighting CST in recent years. A special unit of the Federal Office of Police dealing with child pornography and pedophilic offences cooperates closely with numerous partner services, both at home and abroad.

Since June 2008, the general public have the possibility of reporting any information regarding child sex tourism cases to the appropriate judicial authorities via Internet.