The sexual exploitation of children is a growing problem in all European countries, particularly in Eastern Europe - due in good part to the difference in living standards across the continent, in combination with the removal of travel prohibitions over the past 15 years. The Western European countries are primarily source countries for the perpetrators and are much less important as destinations for tourists interested in sexual gratification. According to a UNICEF-study, 120 000 young women and children from eastern and south-eastern Europe are trafficked into the European Union where they are forced into prostitution or otherwise sexually abused.
If you witness a case of child abuse by tourists while you are on holiday abroad you should report this to the tour organiser, the tour guide, and/or the hotel manager. Your embassy and local representatives of non-government organisations also follow up cases reported to them. The following European countries operate the ex-territorial principle which means that perpetrators can be prosecuted in their home country for crimes committed in another country, even if there is no prosecution in that country: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain and Cyprus?
Click to the left of the country in the list that you would like to know more about. The glossary can help if there are any terms you don't understand.