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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.The BBC News cited a report by UNODC as listing the most common destinations for victims of human trafficking in 2007 as Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the US.The report lists Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine as major sources of trafficked persons.
The incidence of sexual slavery by country has been studied and tabulated by UNESCO, with the cooperation of various international agencies.In contrast, prostitution is a recognized profession in countries such as the Netherlands and Germany.In 1949 the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (the 1949 Convention).The 1949 Convention presents two shifts in perspective of the trafficking problem in that it views prostitutes as victims of the procurers, and in that it eschews the terms "white slave traffic" and "women," using for the first time race- and gender-neutral language.Article 1 of the 1949 Convention provides punishment for any person who "[p]rocures, entices or leads away, for purposes of prostitution, another person" or "[e]xploits the prostitution of another person, even with the consent of that person." To fall under the provisions of the 1949 Convention, the trafficking need not cross international lines.
In these cases, children are often used to produce child pornography, especially sadistic forms of child pornography where they may be tortured.