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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Child Prostitution Up

TALLINN, Estonia () -- Child prostitution has grown to become a serious problem in Estonia and urgent measures are needed to fight it, a government official said Friday.

"The situation with the sexual exploitation of children is really bad in Estonia and it is high time to start doing something to prevent it,'' Jaan Ruutman, a Social Affairs Ministry chancellor, told the Baltic News Service. "The situation is getting worse day by day.''

Ruutman said that Estonia already is running late in implementing measures to eliminate child prostitution. He estimated about 1,000 Estonian children are either earning their living through prostitution or are forced to engage in it.

At the end of August, a four-member team from the ministry and police will travel to Stockholm to attend a world conference on the sexual harassment of children.

Members of Finnish organizations for the protection of children have said that for Finnish pedophiles, Estonia ranks as the second most popular country to travel to after Thailand, Baltic News Service reported.