The characteristics study of commercial sexual exploitation identified that most of these victims are aged 12-18, and over 90 percent are female. The risk factors that can lead to exploitation are running away, poverty, homelessness, drugs, and/or alcohol use and, having friends in prostitution, or being gay, bisexual, transgender, and isolated.
The perception that all visitors arrive only for relaxation and the good vibes these islands offer is a farfetched idea. This incident only highlights that sexual exploitation of young girls is a major problem and, for the right price, you have an abundance of sellers and buyers
For some of us, sexual crime against young people is the worst crime against humanity. It is an organized crime business, where profits are high and risks are low. It is an estimated $16-billion a-year operation in Latin America, and rising according to the International Organization on Migration. (BBC News) 2012, about 37 arrested in Oxford in what they believed was part of organized crime selling young girls for sex.
If a country has legal prostitution, it is less likely to have more severe punishment. In poor and developing nations, disparities between the haves vs have-nots, and lack of political courage make it a difficult prosecute despite violations of both national and international laws.
Every affected person, regardless if one explicitly put herself in a vulnerable situation, needs to be protected. They are victims, and it is important as risk measures for general recidivism as one would target an offender with higher risk probability of re-offending. For the safety of that girl and many others at risk, tools are vital to prohibit visitors from an open door system that allows teenagers to visit their hotels rooms, and be traded as if they are a commodity on the stock exchange.
I also understand when morality debates livelihood, especially in service-orientated economies. Sometime it mutes suspected behaviour. Child sex tourism is a crime of opportunity. A victim's immigration status can create an unwillingness to come forward.
The Caribbean has several other problems and lack of resources provides a perfect gateway such as reported drug trafficking. Holding elected officials and law enforcement officers who are sworn to protect accountable is not debatable. Equally important, communities have to speak up, even in situations where one find shame from norms and an unwillingness come forward in fear of personal ramifications.
We cannot blame it on globalization alone as studies have shown that people are free move around the world.