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, misleading or even false.  Their authenticity has not been verified and their content has not been validated.

Prostitution and AIDS

Suki Falconberg, The American Chronicle, November 04, 2006

[accessed 3 March 2015]

AIDS coverage in the media pays little or no attention to the prostituted women, girls, and children who suffer greatly from this disease’s impact. Frontline’s two-part series, The Age of AIDS (May 2006), is a good example. The show’s point of view is relentlessly male, even though one of the co-producers and writers is a woman, Renata Simone. The show praises “the condom king” of Thailand for slowing the spread of AIDS, but fails to note that the policy of putting 100 condoms by every brothel bed continues to enslave women, girls, and children in that country’s multi-billion-dollar sex industry.

Child sex tourism

Barbara Kralis, RenewAmerica, July 21, 2006

[accessed 23 August 2011]

Child Sex Tourism [CST] entails tourists, mostly men, engaged in sex trafficking by purposely traveling to known sex destinations, seeking anonymity in pornography or prostitution, or engaging in pederasty with young children and homosexuality with young and older adults.

Poverty Enables Child Sex Exploitation

Forbes, August 17, 2006

[accessed 23 August 2011]

In countries such as Thailand, child sexual exploitation builds on a long-standing and vast prostitution industry, and thrives where law enforcement is weak or corrupt. That sex with young teens is not a strong taboo in some Asian cultures makes fighting the problem even more difficult.

Traffic stop

Presbyterian Church USA News PCUSA, November 16, 2007

[accessed 23 August 2011]

The global sex market is a huge part of trafficking, and "younger children are more in demand," said Smolenski. "Teen girls are sold products," and even in the U.S. it's not unusual to see girls as young as 11 or 12 being trafficked for sex, she said.  Smolenski and others highlighted how child sex trafficking and sex tourism - people traveling abroad to garner sex - come together around the world.  "Some people do go on vacation ... to exploit the local population," she said, pointing to well-known hot spots like Thailand and Costa Rica. And traffickers often import women and children specifically for tourists, Smolenski said.  "It's basically like bringing your product to market," she said. And in the eyes of much of the world, these kids "are seen as criminals who need to be locked up."

Notes For An Address at the World Congress Against CSEC, Stockholm, Sweden

The Honorable Lloyd Axworthy, August 27, 1996

[Last access date unavailable]

It is wrong to exploit any person. It is even more wrong if that person is a child. And when abuse takes the form of the commercial sexual exploitation of the young, it is an abhorrent criminal act, and we must put an end to it.   It's hard to believe that, on the eve of the 21st century, we still find ourselves trying to deal with a form of slavery. And there is, in the sexual exploitation of children, a very real degree of modern-day slavery -- as well as serious social and public-health issues.

What makes this practice so evil? It is the calculated victimization of the most vulnerable, the assault on the innocence and dignity of those least able to protect themselves. The act of forcing a child into prostitution is no less heinous than that of the sniper in war who fixes the sights of his rifle on a child playing in the street and coldly squeezes the trigger.

Child Prostitution Seen As Threat to Eastern Europe

Reuters, Strasbourg France, 29 April 1996

[accessed 23 August 2011]

Victims were being recruited among an estimated 100,000 homeless children in eastern Europe, according to the survey by the ECPAT organization.  Child prostitution was rife in bars, hotels and around train stations. Experts blamed local gangsters, poverty, and lax attitudes developing as a reaction after the fall of puritanical communist regimes.

A Shattered Innocence, The Millennium Holocaust [PDF] -- A Report on the Exploitation of Children Emanating from the Balkan Crises

Christine Dolan, January 1, 2001

[Last access date unavailable]

PREFACE - In April 2000 the International Centre for Missing and Exploited asked me to research and prepare an investigative report on the sexual exploitation of children emanating from the Balkan Crises. I traveled to nine countries, 20 villages and cities, and made 26 stops within a nine-week period of time in Eastern and Western Europe. Over 500 interviews were conducted.

Child Sex Rings and Child Prostitution

Michael C. Irving, Ph.D., Gallery of Sculpture

[accessed 23 August 2011]

Sex rings and child prostitution involves power structures which actively recruit vulnerable children and youth.  Children used in sex rings are often subjected to terribly cruel and sadistic physical abuse in addition to sexual abuse. There is profound trauma associated with being used in child prostitution and child sex rings.  The impact of the abuse can be life-long, often resulting in emotional and physical problems as well as behavioral problems such: as prostitution, street youth, crime and homelessness.  Survivors often lose a sense of personal power and have difficulty making good, choices as adults.

The Unrelenting Scourge Of Child Prostitution

Cesar Chelala, San Francisco Chronicle, November 28, 2000

[accessed 3 March 2015]

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is increasing worldwide. There are several reasons. These include increased trade across borders, poverty, unemployment, low status of girls, lack of education (including sex education) of children and their parents, inadequate legislation, lack of or poor law enforcement and the eroticization of children by the media, a phenomenon increasingly seen in industrialized countries.

Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors

U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division ° Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section CEOS

[accessed 3 March 2015]

Among children and teens living on the streets in the United States, involvement in commercial sex activity is a problem of epidemic proportion. Approximately 55% of street girls engage in formal prostitution.  The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14. It is not only the girls on the streets that are affected -- for boys and transgender youth, the average age of entry into prostitution is 11-13.

End Child Exploitation

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF

[Last access date unavailable]

CHILDREN IN THE SEX INDUSTRY - Although many children are forced to enter the sex industry, others are driven to it out of economic necessity, attracted by the high incomes they can earn. In Viet Nam, for example, children working as prostitutes in central Hanoi can earn £630 (US$1,000) per month, when the average monthly wage is £15 (US$25).

Stop child prostitution


[accessed 23 August 2011]

That's right, 3000 children are forced into prostitution every day, troughout the world. That makes it about 1.000000 children every year and the highest concentration where this happens is in Asia but it is also widely spread in Africa, South and Central America and Eastern Europe. The children involved, are mostly girls but boys also have a big representation among child prostitutes, especially in the Philippines and Sri Lanka. The children are at an age of between 10 to 18 but, in some cases they have had an age of 6. The children mostly come from poor, rural families or are homeless children living on the street in some city. Children are often kidnapped or sold by someone they know to a procurer who sends the child to a third party. Children may also search for work in a city and with false expectations they end up forced to work in the prostitution trade. Children may also have being led to sexual exploitation in the believe that the working conditions were good. The people who use the services, provided by child prostitues are mostly men but also women are known for practising this eventhough men is the majority of the perpetrators.

Child prostitution: the horrors of selling sex

[Last access date unavailable]

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? - Children end up as prostitutes as the result of a complex process involving manipulation, violence, sexual abuse, drugs, alcohol and poverty. Barnardo's gives an example of how it could happen: A girl, who has run away from home or is being abused at home, meets a young man, probably aged between 18 and 25. He gives her the love and affection she is missing. He pretends to be her boyfriend, impressing her with his maturity and lifestyle, his money and car. She falls in love with him and they start to have sex.

Then he becomes possessive and demands proof of the girl's love. Often this includes breaking off with friends and family. If she is still living with her parents he may help her put herself into care. Soon he controls her life – what she wears, what she eats, where she goes. He becomes violent and she becomes frightened, but she still hopes that one more proof of her love will restore their relationship. Once the man totally dominates her he demands she has sex with one of his 'friends', and then with other men. He uses violence and threats to control her. He has now become not her boyfriend but her pimp (someone who takes a share of a prostitute's money in exchange for 'protection' from punters – men who buy sex).

ChildSafe Cambodia – Hotline 012 311 112


[accessed 23 August 2011]

[accessed 19 November 2016]

Cambodia is attracting an increasing number of travelers. The majority come for the beauty of the country. Many are shocked by poverty and the situation of Cambodias over 20.000 children living and working on the streets. These children are at high risk of being abused and travelers unwillingly and unknowingly often increase their vulnerability.

The Dutroux Multiple Kidnapping, Abuse and Murder Case

B.A. Robinson, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 4 February 2001

[accessed 23 August 2011]

One of the most shocking stories of the 1990's surfaced in Charleroi, Belgium. In 1996-AUG, Marc Dutroux confessed to abducting young girls. Newspaper reports allege that he ran a business in which girls were kidnapped, that the girls were confined in cells in the basement of one of his houses, that he sold each for tens of thousands of dollars, and that he transported them out of the country for a life of child prostitution.

Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children

Ms. Ofelia Calcetas-Santos, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, interim report, 1997

[accessed 23 August 2011]

97. Every photograph or videotape of child pornography is evidence of that child's abuse. The distribution of that depiction repeats the victimization over and over again, long after the original material was created. A case in point is the death by suicide of a 12-year-old boy in Upper Austria, who killed himself after discovering, in addition to the trauma of being sexually abused by an older man, that photographs of those abusive acts had been posted on the Internet.

5.1 Middle East - State of CSEC/ Attitudes toward CSEC [PDF]

ECPAT International, Looking Back Thinking Forward, November 2000 -- The fourth report on the implementation of the Agenda for Action adopted at the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm, Sweden, August 1996

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

[accessed 23 August 2011]

In the wealthy oil producing states, (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman etc), foreigners are often the unfortunate victims of commercial sexual exploitation.  The financial ability to contribute to CSEC, the lack of legal protection measures for foreign children, and the low status of foreigners in society, contributes to CSEC.  Additionally, the high numbers of male foreign workers in these countries create a large demand for prostitution.

Child Prostitution On The Rise In Brazil

Selma B. de Oliveira, International Child Resource Institute ICRI, December 1995

[accessed 23 August 2011]

The prostitution of girls in Brazil is the direct consequence of years of economic recession, and the low status afforded to women in the country.  Because women have a limited access to occupations and resources, they are the ones hardest hit during economic crises.  With the growth of the tourism industry, selling their bodies has become a way for poor girls to have access to the dollars of tourists.

Streets and Lanes

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

[accessed 23 August 2011]

A more significant factor in understanding the process by which young girls become the victims of sexual exploitation is their estrangement from home and family. The vast majority of girls and young women in this situation have at some time been reported as 'missing from home' and separation from family life and friends is a key element of the sexually exploitative relationship. Physical and emotional isolation helps create and sustain the total dependency of the young girl on her 'boyfriend' who controls where she goes, who she sees, even what she wears.

Children Who Are Sexually Exploited

Lincolnshire County Council, 01/09/06

[accessed 23 August 2011]

Children who are sexually exploited are exposed to abuse and assault, which robs them of their childhood, self-esteem and opportunities for good health, education and training.  It is important that the children involved are regarded as victims of abuse and at risk of significant harm.

Putting An End To Child Prostitution

Scott Murray talking to Jo Bindman, plus excerpts from a book by Ron O'Grady, international coordinator, ECPAT

[accessed 23 August 2011]

On the supply side, one of the difficulties that girls face within the family can be a lack of support for their own needs above those of the family. Our Thai colleagues worry that traditional attitudes to children, especially girl children, as subordinate to the needs of the family, make it easier to sacrifice a child to the sex industry.

Combating Child Prostitution in Colombia

Garry Leech, Columbia Journal, April 29, 2002

[accessed 23 August 2011]

With an unemployment rate close to 20 percent, it is virtually impossible for many displaced to find legitimate jobs. The majority of them work in the informal sector peddling cheap goods or shining shoes on the streets while some have turned to crime in order to survive.  Many parents send their children out into the streets to help support the family by stealing, selling chewing gum and cigarettes, or worse, selling themselves.

Child Prostitution In India

Sarika Misha, People's Union for Civil Liberties PUCL Bulletin, August 1987

[accessed 23 August 2011]

Ironically child prostitution is a special category of rigorous case of child labor and it raises more troubling ethical problems than child labor in general.

Children’s Rights

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF Canada

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

[accessed 23 August 2011]

THINK OF ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU NEED IDENTIFICATION TO do - An estimated one million children (mainly girls, but also many boys) enter the multi-billion dollar commercial sex trade every year. Countries that ratify the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography agree to include in their criminal code the sale of children, illegal adoption, child prostitution and pornography. These types of rights violations happen across national borders as children are moved from one country to another. Because of this, the Optional Protocol asks that governments agree to cooperate to stop the transfer of children, and for public awareness, information and education campaigns to protect children from these serious violations of their rights.

Child Prostitution in Nepal/India

[accessed 24 June 2011]

Every year, thousands of Nepalese girls, some as young as 11 are sent to or procured for brothels in the big Indian cities, like Bombay or Calcutta.  They are often the daughters of poor farming families, where everyone must help with the family income.

The Modern Scourge of Sex Slavery

Dr. Martin Brass, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, 2004,13190,SOF_0904_Slavery1,00.html

[accessed 23 August 2011]

The Children, the Desperate, the Helpless, the Homeless Fall Victim to the Heartless …

Child Prostitution a Global Problem

Adapted from Reuters Health, 04.19.2002

[accessed 23 August 2011]

Boys as well as girls are being prostituted and, according to the report, some of the children are as young as ten years old. "Most of these children are exploited by local men, although some are also exploited by pedophiles and foreign tourists"

Forced Labor: The Prostitution of Children (Symposium Proceedings) (PDF)

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Washington DC, 1996 -- Papers from a symposium held on September 29, 1995

[accessed 23 August 2011]

[page 34]  Many of the girls who end up as child prostitutes in Latin American countries have chosen a sexually exploitative life on the streets, rather than suffer continued family violence and male incest in their own homes.

10 Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution

Janice G. Raymond, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International CATW, March 25, 2003

[accessed 3 March 2015]

SUMMARY - As countries are considering legalizing and decriminalizing the sex industry, we urge you to consider the ways in which legitimating prostitution as work does not empower the women in prostitution but does everything to strengthen the sex industry.

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