See Ages of consent in Asia Thailand, Cambodia, India, Brazil and Mexico have been identified as leading hotspots of child sexual exploitation. In recent years there has been an increase in the prosecution of child sex tourism offenses.

A few governments have enacted laws to allow prosecution of its citizens for child sexual abuse committed outside of their home country. One of the factors pushing Brazil to the top of this list of destination countries is the extensive use of the Sport Fishing industry in the Brazilian Amazon as a front. Out of 21,000 perpetrators, 1,000 were identified from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Mauritius, the Netherlands, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and United States.

However, while laws against child sex tourism may deter situational offenders who may act impulsively, pedophiles who travel specifically for the purpose of exploiting children are not easily deterred. Similar to the domestic Megan's Law (named after Megan Kanka of New Jersey), which provides for community notification when a sex offender is living in the area, H. 110 of the alleged online abusers were based in the UK and another 254 were traced to computers in the US.

Child sex tourism has also been complicated by varying ages of consent laws where, for example, the age of consent is 13 in Japan while it is 21 in Bahrain. Together with Avaaz.org, Terre des Hommes Netherlands has created an online petition to pressure governments to adopt proactive investigation policies in order to protect children against webcam child sex tourism.

Child sex tourism results in both mental and physical consequences for the exploited children, that may include "disease (including HIV/AIDS), drug addiction, pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and possibly death", according to the State Department of the United States.

Child sex tourism, part of the multibillion-dollar global sex tourism industry, is a form of child prostitution within the wider issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Child sex tourism victimizes approximately 2 million children around the world.Users of children for commercial and sexual purposes can be categorized by motive.Contrary to popular belief, pedophiles are not the majority of users.There are preferential abusers, that is those who may prefer children because they perceive the risk of venereal diseases to be lower.There are also situational users, those who do not actively seek out children but for whom the actual act is opportunistic; there may be a lack of concern to check the age of a prostitute before engaging in sexual activity.The majority of the exploited children are under 12 years old. At year's end the investigation was continuing in coordination with foreign law enforcement officials." Another US State Department report states (page 85) "In a newer trend, some arranged fishing expeditions to the Amazon were organized for the purpose of child sex tourism for European and American exploiters." According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations estimate, there are 750,000 predators online at any given time in 40,000 public chat rooms.