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In some parts of the world, child prostitution is tolerated or ignored by the authorities.

Reflecting an attitude which prevails in many developing countries, a judge from Honduras said, on condition of anonymity: "If the victim [the child prostitute] is older than 12, if he or she refuses to file a complaint and if the parents clearly profit from their child's commerce, we tend to look the other way".

Causes for forced marriages include customs such as bride price and dowry; poverty; the importance given to female premarital virginity; "family honor"; the fact that marriage is considered in certain communities a social arrangement between the extended families of the bride and groom; limited education and economic options; perceived protection of cultural or religious traditions; assisting immigration.

The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum, which defines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, recognizes rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization, "or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity" as crime against humanity if the action is part of a widespread or systematic practice.

In some cultures, concubines and their children had distinct rights and legitimate social positions.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.The 1949 Convention supersedes a number of earlier conventions that covered some aspects of forced prostitution.Signatories are charged with three obligations under the 1949 Convention: prohibition of trafficking, specific administrative and enforcement measures, and social measures aimed at trafficked persons.

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