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In these cases, children are often used to produce child pornography, especially sadistic forms of child pornography where they may be tortured.
The terms "forced prostitution" and "enforced prostitution" appear in international and humanitarian conventions but have been insufficiently understood and inconsistently applied.
The Rome Statute (1998) (which defines the crimes over which the International Criminal Court may have jurisdiction) encompasses crimes against humanity (Article 7) which include "enslavement" (Article 7.1.c) and "sexual enslavement" (Article 7.1.g) "when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population".
It also defines sexual enslavement as a war crime and a breach of the Geneva Conventions when committed during an international armed conflict (Article 8.b.xxii) and indirectly in an internal armed conflict under Article(8.c.ii), but the courts jurisdiction over war crimes is explicitly excluded from including crimes committed during "situations of internal disturbances and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts of a similar nature" (Article 8.d).
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action calls for an international effort to eradicate sexual slavery as an abuse of human rights.
The incidence of sexual slavery by country has been studied and tabulated by UNESCO, with the cooperation of various international agencies.
A declaration of the World Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Stockholm in 1996, defined CSEC as, "sexual abuse by the adult and remuneration in cash or in kind to the child or to a third person or persons.
In contrast to the crime of rape, which is a completed offence, sexual slavery constitutes a continuing offence. Forms of sexual slavery can, for example, be practices such as the detention of women in "rape camps" or "comfort stations", forced temporary "marriages" to soldiers and other practices involving the treatment of women as chattel, and as such, violations of the peremptory norm prohibiting slavery.Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) includes child prostitution (or child sex trafficking), child sex tourism, child pornography, or other forms of transactional sex with children.The Youth Advocate Program International (YAPI) describes CSEC as a form of coercion and violence against children and a contemporary form of slavery.Opinion in places such as Europe has been divided over the question of whether prostitution should be considered as a free choice or as inherently exploitative of women.The law in Sweden, Norway and Iceland – where it is illegal to pay for sex, but not to sell sexual services – is based on the notion that all forms of prostitution are inherently exploitative, opposing the notion that prostitution can be voluntary.
The text of the Rome Statute does not explicitly define sexual enslavement, but does define enslavement as "the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children" (Article 7.2.c).