Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in Travel and Tourism in the Dominican Republic - An Anthropological Perspective

The present study is part of a reflection of a wider field research work carried out in the Dominican Republic on exploitation phenomena of children and adolescents. This research is based on a three-month field work and on a retrospective ethnography of previously acquired local meanings. The formulated hypothesis was that the eventual existence of stereotypes and discriminations experienced in local society, could lead to the exploitation of children and adolescents. The objective of this study particularly focuses on identifying and interpreting local social norms and cultural flows, involving children and adolescents, which can contribute, together with other root-causes, to the creation of the pre-conditions for sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in prostitution and, in particular, in travel and tourism. Also, a deeper understanding of local cultural flows can strongly support and enhance aid effectiveness. This study has been carried out according to an anthropological approach that intends to go beyond the statistical investigation by sample method and provides an in-depth qualitative analysis. The qualitative analysis of the anthropological approach, through its ethnographic field work, often has the merit of contributing to integrate further quantitative research approaches.

Published 2011-02-04