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CHILD SEX EXPLOITATION REPORTED AS INCREASING

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is growing, despite promises from more than 120 countries to halt abuse, pornography and sex tourism, according to children's rights workers gathered Monday in Bangkok.

While progress has been made in recent years, activist Carol Smolenski said political will and concrete action remain lacking.

"The problem is getting worse as the world is shrinking," said Ms. Smolenski, of the U.S. arm of ECPAT, a global non-governmental organization fighting child pornography, prostitution and trafficking.

The children's rights activists said the easy availability of sex on the Internet -- including pedophile chat lines and advertisements from companies that organize sex holidays -- is among the key reasons why sexual exploitation of children is a bigger problem than ever.

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