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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Republic of Ecuador

Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and one-fourth of public sector revenues in recent years.

From 2002-06 the economy grew 5.5%, the highest five-year average in 25 years. The poverty rate declined but remained high at 38% in 2006.  [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 Ecuador.  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
Country code: 593-



Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Between Venezuela and Ecuador

Survivors' Rights International, July 17, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 September 2011]

BACKGROUND - Children from Ecuador are trafficked into Venezuela to serve as prostitutes and work as street vendors and housemaids. The victims are usually children who are kidnapped, sold by their parents, or deceived by false employment opportunities. These children are first exploited through prostitution at the average age of 12. Children as young as 7 years old have been found to be sexually exploited.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

Fundación Yupana-ACNNA, ECPAT International, 2010

[accessed 26 August 2020]


Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Ecuador. The report looks at protection mechanisms, responses, preventive measures, child and youth participation in fighting SEC, and makes recommendations for action against SEC.

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 27 August 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The age of consent is 14. The law prohibits sexual exploitation of children, including child pornography, with penalties of 22 to 26 years’ imprisonment. The penalty for sex trafficking for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation of children younger than age 18 is 13 to 16 years in prison. Child sex trafficking remained a problem, despite government enforcement efforts.

2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2019

[accessed 22 August 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 453]

Migrant and refugee children from other Latin American countries, girls from poor families, and indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian girls are used in commercial sexual exploitation. (2,12) Commercial sexual exploitation in Ecuador also occurs near illegal mining sites. (2,16,17) Venezuelan, Colombian, and Peruvian girls are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation in Ecuador. (10,12) Sex trafficking networks also recruit children from schools, and, increasingly, through social media platforms which encourage children to recruit their friends and classmates. (12,14) On Ecuador’s northern border, children are forcibly recruited to engage in drug trafficking and robbery. (12)

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 3 February 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - The commercial sexual exploitation of children occurs in Ecuador. ILO-IPEC estimated that there were 5,200 girls and adolescents in situations of sexual exploitation in 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Ecuador is a country of origin, transit and destination for the trafficking of persons, but most child victims are trafficked internally for prostitution.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 June 2005

[accessed 3 February 2011]

[69] The Committee takes note with appreciation of the considerable efforts undertaken by the State party, and the various studies conducted by different institutions regarding the issue of sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, as reported by the State party. The Committee expresses its deep concern at the high number of children involved in commercial sexual exploitation and at the insufficient measures adopted by the State party in this regard.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, 2004

[accessed 9 May 2011]

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) , 19 March 2008

[accessed 5 November 2016]

[26] The Committee is deeply concerned about the high incidence of sexual abuse, prostitution of girls and boys under the age of 18 in urban areas, exploitation of children and the lack of a comprehensive strategy to address these problems.

[24] The Committee is concerned about trafficking in minors, especially indigenous minors.

The Protection Project - Ecuador [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - An estimated 5,200 girls and adolescents are sexually exploited in Ecuador.  A recent survey of prostituted girls in Ecuador revealed several commonalities. Many have been abandoned or orphaned by one or both parents and have been subjected to domestic violence, mistreatment, and abuse. Nearly all enter prostitution by the age of 14, and most become involved in the sex industry through friends and to contribute to family income. More than half of the girls involved in prostitution work in illegal establishments. The girls work an average of 4 days per week and earn an average of US$726 per month.

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 – ECUADORThe NGO Corporación de la Promoción de la Mujer has now completed its research into sexual exploitation in Machala, Lago Agrio and Cuenca. The research has been important in drawing attention to CSEC and placing the issue on the public agenda. The research found that most child victims of CSE are girls who come from poor families and have very low levels of education. Most had already suffered some form of sexual abuse or violence. The profiles of the exploiters include young and old men, Ecuadorians, Colombians and North Americans, bar owners, oil workers, civil servants including public health officials and businessmen. The research also identified internal trafficking of children for sexual purposes within Ecuador.

Country Narrative

U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009

[accessed 9 May 2011]

Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Many victims are children trafficked for sexual exploitation; in 2003, the ILO estimated that over 5,000 minors in Ecuador were being exploited in prostitution.

Country information: Ecuador

[accessed 9 May 2011]

COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM - Investigations show that in 1999 every second child came from a family that was not able to pay for food, housing, education, and medical care. As a consequence, these children do not go to school, and 20.5% are forced to start work at ages between 5 and 9 years and 53% between 10 and 14 years. In a country that is struggling against underemployment and employment, often the only opportunity to offer itself is prostitution. They then become victims of exploitation by traffickers and sex tourists.

Regional Governmental Congress on Sexual Exploitation of Children  [PDF]

Susana Cifuentes, Beyond Myths, National Child and Family Institute (INNFA)

[accessed 19 November 2016]




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 8 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - The country was a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. The most recent statistics, from a 2002 International Labor Organization report, estimated 5,200 minors were engaged in prostitution. Ecuadorians were trafficked to Western Europe, primarily Italy and Spain, and other Latin American countries. Some Colombians were trafficked into prostitution in the country. Internally, adults and children were trafficked into prostitution. Anecdotal evidence showed that traffickers lured young victims romantically or with promises of dignified employment and then forced them into prostitution. Some poverty-stricken parents also sold their children, wittingly or unwittingly, into prostitution or forced labor in agriculture, including banana plantations, or mines.

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