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Mamallapuram emerging as centre for sex tourism: NGOs

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Nov 24 (UNI) The historic town of Mamallapuram near here is emerging as a centre for child sex tourism, along with already known spots like Goa, experts here said.

The discussion, 'Travelling Child Sex Offenders' (TCSO) was organised here yesterday by Tulir-Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Abuse, which recently won an international award for work on prevention of child sex abuse and raising awareness. Participating in the interaction presided over by Chennai Police Commissioner Letika Saran, Paul Sunder Singh, Director of an NGO Karunalaya, said visitors to Mamallapuram had told him they had been offered 'company', which included children. He quoted a specific instance which had occurred during a workshop on child sex abuse, organised by his centre in the beach-town sometime ago.

Mr Singh said he had evidence that lodge owners in Mamallapuram were using children for sex and sought deportation of offenders.

Chennai Police Commissioner Ms Saran, while asserting that Chennai city did not face the problem of child sex tourism, admitted that neighbouring districts like Kancheepuram (in which Mamallapuram falls) did. She cited an instance of a Dutch national running an orphanage in a village, who was guilty of abusing girl and boy inmates. The matter came to light after some children escaped.

Madras High Court advocate Geeta Ramaseshan stressed the need for prevention of child abuse. While law enforcement agencies like police came into the picture only after an offence was committed, all stakeholders - common people, NGOs, airlines and particularly the travel and tourism industry--could ensure prevention of abuse.

UNI AA SI KP0924

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