Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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The early years of the 21st Century                                                                  

CAUTION: There is always a risk in posting links to external websites.  Some of the following links may possibly lead to websites that present information that is unsubstantiated or even false.  Their authenticity has not been verified and their content has not been validated.

A 15-Year-Old's Story of Prostitution - Poverty and cynicism in Harare, Zimbabwe keep young women from escaping

Nelson G. Katsande, OhmyNews, NELKA, 2006-August-15

[accessed 18 August 2011]

Tambudzai, age 15, grew up on a farm in Mazowe, northeast of Harare. Her mother died in a bus accident when she was barely six. Her father was a farm laborer, and after the farm was sold to new owners they were forced to leave. Her father died a few months later after succumbing to a bout of malaria.

Following his death, poverty was unavoidable. Tambudzai was expelled from school for non-payment of fees, and none of her father's relatives offered to help. Her dream of becoming a nurse had been shattered. Left to fend for herself, she was lured into the venality of city life and found herself in Harare.  There she met other girls of her age who were already into prostitution, and she gave in to irresistible temptation.

Abduction 1996: August Cape Town Central Business District

Rebirth Africa Life on the Continent, Child Abuse Cape Town South Africa

[accessed 18 September 2011]

Alicia, fourteen years old, on Thursday afternoon 8 August 1996: “I was walking with Arlene and Shelley on the Parade, after school. Four men we didn't know approached us.  They appeared, as if from nowhere and grabbed all three of us …”

Media Sensationalism A ‘Disservice’ To Youth Sex Workers

Andrea Woo “Children on the Street. Media sensationalism a ‘disservice to youth sex workers,”

[Last access date unavailable]

When they found her in February 2001, she was cold, beaten and pumped full of stimulants.  She was an out-of-towner—originally from Oregon—and had worked the streets for four days, earning nearly $1000 before Vancouver Police apprehended her.  But as much as she fit in working on Vancouver’s downtown eastside, she was different.  At 11, she was the youngest street prostitute police had ever encountered.

Tulasa and the Horrors of Child Prostitution - Sold And Resold Body And Soul

Rajedar Menen reports from Kathmandu and Bombay, Indian Health Organization, 1993

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 August 2011]

Eleven years ago, in 1982, at the age of 13, Tulasa Thapa was rescued from the brothels of Bombay, her tiny body broken into little pieces by three venereal diseases and tuberculosis. After treatment she was sent back home to Nepal. Today, her crushed body is wheelchair bound and she spends her last years with only nightmares of a life of abuse and exploitation for company.

Philippines-Children: Scourge Of Child Prostitution

Sol F. Juvida, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, MANILA, Oct 12, 1997

[accessed 7 October 2012]

Sharon, a 13 years-old schoolgirl was forever cutting classes at her village school and, fearful of her parents wrath, took a bus from her village and headed for the big city - Manila.  She wound up in Luneta Park, where a kindly stranger befriended her - and then her real troubles began.

Little Girls of the Night

Gilberto Dimenstein, NACLA Report on the Americas. Volume: 27. Issue: 6. Publication Date: 1994. Page: 29

[accessed 2 March 2015]

Twelve girls--among them, Ana Meire Lima da Silva, age 15, and Miriam Ferreira dos Santos, 14--make up part of the cargo. They were persuaded to go with promises of work in a restaurant or luncheonette.

Children And Women Trafficking In Nepal

Prof. Yi Ki Ho (Korea), Project co-ordinates: Srijana Acharya (Nepal) & Rajender Rocky Singh (India), Idea Action, Katmandu-Nepal, 04/01/2007

[accessed 22 August 2011]

13-year-old Mira of Nepal was offered a job as a domestic worker in Bombay, India. She arrived at a brothel on Bombay's Falkland Road, where tens of thousands of young women are displayed in row after row of zoo-like animal cages. Her father had been duped into giving her to a trafficker.

Meena was married off at 12. Soon after she was taken to Delhi by her husband, where she found out that he was a pimp. In the last three years, she has serviced up to six clients a night.

Maya, 10, was taken to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh by her aunt who was paid Rs 3000. When she refused to have sex with a client, she was locked in a room for two days, scared with snakes and beaten unconscious.

A New Life for a Child Victim of Prostitution - Tanzania

Rose Haji, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2001

[accessed 22 August 2011]

Only 13 at that time, she decided to drop out of school and leave home, like many of her friends before her, to escape difficult living conditions. It happened one day when she was going to school and met a boy from a nearby village who persuaded her to escort him to the town where he lived. The boy would bring home two or three of his friends and force Wanyenda to sleep with all of them for cash payment. She was tortured, sexually abused and sometimes beaten by the boy if she refused to provide the services. Whenever the boy was away, she received customers on her own in order to earn some money for food. Life became unbearable. After 18 months she decided to leave. Not knowing where to go, she began wandering the streets. There she met other girls her age who took her to a brothel.

Fighting sexual exploitation and trafficking in Indonesia

UNICEF, At a Glance: Indonesia, 15 December 2004

[accessed 13 February 2011]

Yani was 15 when her boyfriend lured her away from home with false promises of a lucrative job and a chance to continue her education.  "My pimp stopped giving me money and just supplied me with drugs," says Dewi. "I got worse and worse. I lived from hotel room to hotel room, and worked wherever a client wanted me, here in Surakarta, Yogyakarta or Jakarta."  Intimidated, ashamed and deeply disturbed, Yani and Dewi became two of the million of young girls and boys that go into the multi-billion-dollar sex trade across the globe.

Children in prostitution, pornography and illicit activities - Thailand - Magnitude of problems and remedies [PDF]

Hervé Berger & Hans van de Glind, International Labour Organisation ILO & International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour IPEC, August 1999

[accessed 2 March 2015]

A woman approached a Buddhist monk, and said: "When I was 12, my parents, who were very poor, sold me to a brothel and I have had to do this work ever since. I must beg your forgiveness for my sin."

The monk replied; "There is no need to beg forgiveness from me. It is I and the world who should beg your forgiveness, for we have not done enough to protect you. Please forgive me and the world for having failed to protect you in the first place."

- Mettanando Bhikkhu, Thai Buddhist monk

Flesh trade of Sumatra

Ahmad Sofian, Inside Indonesia, Edition-59

[accessed 2 March 2015]

Working in Golden Million was hell. If anyone made a mistake, Merry's people kicked them. The lightest punishment was 'charge'. That meant paying a fine. If we were sick, we had to pay for medicine ourselves. If a girl fell pregnant, the fine was Rp 500,000 (AU$100). If we menstruated suddenly while serving a guest, the fine was Rp 75,000. A doctor came to give us an injection each week that cost us Rp 200,000 each time. Golden Million provided a room for us to take a rest. Our room was for 12 to 15 people. It was very small and hot. It had no window, and no ventilation. Our meals were supplied by Aunt Merry. Every meal was crowded and rushed. Every girl owed money to Aunt Merry. She pretended to be a good woman but she was very bad. She is a devil.

Throughout the time I was at Tanjung Balai Karimun I never sent money to my mother. When she came to see how I was she had to pawn the tape recorder to our neighbour to get travel money. As soon as my mother saw my condition she wanted to take me home to Medan. But Aunt Merry said my contract still had two months to run and would not let me go. Then my mother went back to Medan without me. Two months later she came back for me. It was about April last year. I do not know how or where she got the money for her bus fare. Aunt Merry promised my mother to cash my vouchers, but she kept delaying, and my mother became scared that Merry's people would kill us.

Testimony of Cherry Kingsley

Cherry Kingsley, trafficked in Canada, originally from Canada; Keynote Address on behalf of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child before the Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Yokohama (December 2001)

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 April 2011]

Firstly, I would like to tell you about myself for just a moment. I am a survivor of Commercial Sexual Exploitation. I grew up in the sex trade in Canada from the age of 14- 22. During those eight years in the sex trade most of my friends died; they died from drugs, AIDS, violence, murder and some from suicide.

Testimony of Dawn

Polaris Project

[Last access date unavailable]

My mother kicked me out of my home at the age of 12. I spent the first few weeks couch surfing and trying to go back home. Often it would last just a few days and then soon I would be back out. I had to quit school and try to make my way in the world with no support. I had no place to go and as far as choices I had 2…live on the streets or die. When I left I went straight to the only place I knew to go, a local hangout for all various types of problem kids....Beaver Hill Park.

I have often heard men say that I had a choice, and I did, it was either work as a prostitute or starve to death because it is illegal in Canada to work at 12, not to mention that no one will hire you if you have no address and are only 13 or 14.

Out Of The Shadows: Child Prostitutes Speak Out

Leanne Yohemas-Hayes and John Chilibeck, Capital News Online,  Ottawa

[accessed 22 August 2011]

She turned her first trick when she was 13 and worked in a brothel with other girls as young as 11.  They sold their bodies in the back of a knick-knack shop in Vancouver's Gastown tourist district.  Lewis felt she was making big bucks when she finished a night's work with $30 in her pocket.

Child Prostitution in Victorian Singapore

Alejandro Levis, 24 November 2000

[Last access date unavailable]

TESTIMONY OF JANET LIM – CIRCA 1920 - Janet Lim, was not sold as a prostitute, but in the early part of the Twentieth Century she was sold a seven year bonded servant, or mui tsai.  She later became an educated writer (Lim, 1958).  If not herself a prostitute, she did witness the trade and gave the following testimony.

Maeley and Evetta

[access information unavailable]

When Maeley was 15 she was manipulated into going to the city to work in a brothel for her destitute family.  When Evetta was 14, she was forced to work as a housemaid to provide food and necessities for her family. Approximately a year later she was led to work in a brothel where she met Maeley.

Rescuing Prostituted Children- A Personal Account by Fr. Shay Cullen

Independent Catholic News ICN

[accessed 22 August 2011]

Within minutes, a neatly dressed woman approached and offered us two 11 year-old children for sex. She named her price, one hundred dollars for each child, plus an additional payment for the brothel operator called the mamasan where the children were being kept.

Sex and the City of Joy

Sarah Stuteville, The Common Language Project, University of Washington, Kolkata,  May 8, 2006

[accessed 29 May 2011]

ONE WOMAN’S STORY - At 14, Pandey was married off to a man 20 years her senior who had designs on inheriting her ailing father’s government job and a cut of his pension. When another sister’s husband got the position instead, the abuse began.