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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                        

People’s Republic of China

The Chinese government faces numerous economic development challenges, including: (a) strengthening its social safety net, including pension and health system reform, to counteract a high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand; (b) sustaining adequate job growth for tens of millions of migrants, new entrants to the work force, and workers laid off from state-owned enterprises deemed not worth saving; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation.

Description: China


Economic development has been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and approximately 200 million rural laborers and their dependents have relocated to urban areas to find work.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in China.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

International Organization for Migration
10 85 32 18 34
Country code: 86-



China teacher couple sentenced to death for child sex ring

Agence France-Presse AFP, BEIJING, Dec 19, 2007

[accessed 29 April 2011]

Two teachers who sold out pupils as young as 11-years-old to men seeking virgins for sex have been sentenced to death for running a child prostitution ring, Chinese press reports said Wednesday.  The teachers, who were married, worked in southern Guizhou province and most of the 23 girls forced into sex slavery were students from the schools where they taught, the China Daily said.  Six of the girls were aged under 14, according to the Shanghai Daily, which said that the victims supposedly being "virgins" was a main selling point.  Other press reports said all the girls were aged from 11 to 17.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Report 2005 - China

Global March Against Child Labour, 2005

[accessed 12 September 2012]

CHILD PROSTITUTION & PRONOGRAPHY - According to expert estimates, there were 1.7million to 5 million sex workers in China. According to Xinhua news agency, one in five massage parlours was involved in prostitution.

New weapons against child trafficking in Asia

International Labour Organisation ILO, WORLD OF WORK, No. 19, March 1997

[accessed 6 January 2015]

Commercial sexual exploitation of children has become an issue of global concern, and appears to be on the rise. Children are increasingly being bought and sold across national borders by organized networks for work in sweatshops and brothels. The ILO has launched a new programme to eliminate the practice.

In Asia, trafficking in children both between and within various countries is on the increase. In recent years, large numbers of children from Cambodia, China, Laos and Myanmar have been forced to work as prostitutes in Thailand. Both girls and boys from poor rural areas are lured by professional recruiters and traffickers with promises of legitimate jobs in Thailand's booming economy. The trafficking routes are well known, but are difficult to close down. Girls from Myanmar are brought into Thailand through various border checkpoints. In Cambodia, they arrive via several transit points into Thailand. Girls from south China enter by way of Myanmar, and children from Laos are brought across the Mekong River into various provinces in north and northeast Thailand.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism: China [PDF]

Olalla Pruneda, ECPAT International, 2015

[accessed 26 August 2020]

The Global Study provides an overview of the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 25 August 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The minimum legal age for consensual sex is 14. Persons who forced girls younger than 14 into prostitution could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison in addition to a fine or confiscation of property. In especially serious cases, violators could receive a life sentence or death sentence, in addition to having their property confiscated. Those who visited girls forced into prostitution younger than 14 were subject to five years or more in prison in addition to paying a fine.

Pornography of any kind, including child pornography, is illegal. Under the criminal code, those producing, reproducing, publishing, selling, or disseminating obscene materials with the purpose of making a profit could be sentenced to up to three years in prison or put under criminal detention or surveillance in addition to paying a fine. Offenders in serious cases could receive prison sentences of three to 10 years in addition to paying a fine.

According to the law, persons broadcasting or showing obscene materials to minors younger than 18 are to be “severely punished.”

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 September 2005

[accessed 29 January 2011]

DATA COLLECTION - The Committee regrets the limited statistical data on sexual exploitation and cross-border trafficking included in the State party’s report, both with regard to mainland China and Macau SAR. It is further concerned that the data refers almost exclusively to the number of women and children rescued rather than those abducted, and that data often refers to different time periods, which hampers the accurate assessment and monitoring of the situation regarding the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

[C.6] INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE AND COOPERATION - The Committee notes with appreciation the increased regional cooperation between the State party and neighboring countries, such as Vietnam. However, it is concerned about reports of increased cross-border trafficking of girls, both from and to the State party, apparently for the purposes of sexual exploitation and prostitution.

Child prostitution boss faces death

Cui Jia and Cui Xiaohuo, China Daily, 2009-05-18

[accessed 29 April 2011]

The suspected lynchpin behind a child rape scandal in Guizhou province is to face the death penalty after prosecutors decided to try her on charges of forced prostitution, it was announced Sunday.   Yuan Li, 37, also know as Yuan Ronghui, is alleged to have arranged for seven men to have sex with 11 teenage girls, some as young as 13, between October 2007 and July last year in Xishui county.   She had previously faced charges of "sheltering and introducing prostitution", which carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.   But a spokesperson for the prosecution, which is now led by a high-level prosecutor from the nearby city of Zunyi, said she will stand trial accused of the more severe charge of forced prostitution, which carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

China tries to break child prostitution ring

Reuters, Beijing, July 26, 2007

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

[accessed 29 April 2011]

China is offering a 100,000 yuan (US$13,200) reward for information that leads to the detention of a couple who are believed to have forced primary and high school children into prostitution, the Beijing News said on Wednesday.

A similar case was reported earlier this month in Guizhou, the newspaper reported. Two teachers forced at least 18 children aged between 13 and 17 into prostitution.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – CHINA (INCLUDING HONG KONG) – The Agenda for Action is little known in China and no national plan has been developed. CSEC is not identified as a problem and the trafficking of children is the only area that has been addressed by the government.

Youth Peer Education Program on Life Skills, Reproductive Health, STIs, and HIV/AIDS

ASIA-PACIFIC ANSWERS: Good practices in combating commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth. UNESCAP 2001

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

[accessed 29 April 2011]

The target population of the youth peer education program in China is youth aged 15 to 30 years.  The program makes youth less vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation by giving them life skills.  In focusing on HIV/AIDS, the program helps combat one of the worst side effects of commercial sexual exploitation.

The Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, Report Of The East Asia And The Pacific Regional Consultation For The Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children, Bangkok, 16-18 October 2001

[accessed 29 April 2011]

[12] The representative of the Government of China expressed her Government’s appreciation of ECPAT’s contributions to addressing the CSEC issue, and of the ECPAT presentation. It indicated that it would strengthen its collaboration with ECPAT, ESCAP and UNICEF on this issue, including through the sharing of information.

The ILO Mekong Sub-regional Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women

International Labour Organisation ILO, RO-Bangkok, Preventing Human Trafficking in the GMS, 24.10.2008

[accessed 29 April 2011]

[17] WHAT HAS THIS PROJECT ACHIEVED? - In 2004, in China and Lao PDR, the Governments have replicated the project’s practices in other provinces.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT - Our mission is to help eliminate the sexual and labour exploitation of children and women in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region by reducing their vulnerability, and preventing their exposure, to human traffickers and exploitative employers.

People Trafficking and Child Exploitation: Australia's Aid Program Response

Australian Government AusAID, April 2007

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

[accessed 29 April 2011]

THE AUSTRALIA-CHINA HUMAN RIGHTS TECHNICAL COOPERATION PROGRAM (HRTC) - Since 1997, Australia has provided supported for activities under the HRTC, which has assisted in strengthening the promotion, protection and administration of human rights in China. This has included a number of training activities and workshops for officials and community-level workers on practical methods to combat trafficking of women and children. In 2003-04, Australia will provide a total of $1.4 million for the HRTC, including $117,800 for a regional anti-trafficking workshop, involving Chinese officials, in Vietnam and Thailand.



Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONSThere were reports that women and girls from Burma, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, and Russia were trafficked into the country either to work in the sex trade or for forced marriages. Past reports noted that trafficking of North Korean women and girls into the country to work in the sex industry was widespread in the northeastern part of the country, but reliable sources suggested that the practice has decreased.

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