Torture in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                            

Republic of El Salvador

The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador has the third largest economy, but growth has been modest in recent years.

In late 2006, the government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a five-year, $461 million compact to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the country's northern region through investments in education, public services, enterprise development, and transportation infrastructure.  [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 El Salvador.  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.


Country of Origin Research - Responses to Information Requests (RIRs)

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 September 2011]

The Coordinator of the Constitutional Studies Program of the Legal Studies Foundation (FESPAD, based in San Salvador, stated that laws governing the rape of a minor are not being enforced effectively.  By way of example, the Coordinator indicated that child prostitution is a problem throughout El Salvador, yet there is very little police action against those involved.


*** ARCHIVES ***

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]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - The commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, especially girls, is a problem in El Salvador. El Salvador is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.  Salvadoran girls are trafficked to Mexico, the United States, and other Central American countries.  Some children are also trafficked internally. Children from Nicaragua, Honduras, and South America have been trafficked to bars in major Salvadoran cities, where they are then forced to engage in prostitution.

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 3 February 2011]

CHILDREN - Child prostitution was a problem, and included the commercial sexual exploitation of minors for upper class clients. Children, especially those living on the streets, were trafficked to other countries, including for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

A UNICEF sponsored a program to prevent sexual and commercial exploitation began operations during the year and provided information to 8,517 children.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 June 2004

[accessed 3 February 2011]

[63] The Committee is concerned about the extent of sexual exploitation and trafficking in the State party and about the lack of effective programs to address this problem. It also regrets the lack of information on assistance and reintegration programs for children who have been subject to sexual exploitation and trafficking.

GUATEMALA: Where Sexual Exploitation of Minors Is Not a Crime

Alberto Mendoza, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Guatemala City, Oct 13, 2006

[accessed 11 May 2011]

[accessed 5 November 2016]

But hers is not an isolated case. Although no precise figures are available, in 2002 it was estimated that 2,000 minors were sexually exploited in Guatemala City alone, according to a report by Casa Alianza (the Latin American branch of the New York-based Covenant House, a child advocacy organisation) and ECPAT (an international NGO working to end child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children).

Of those 2,000 minors, 1,200 were from El Salvador, 500 from Honduras and 300 from Guatemala itself. María Eugenia Villarreal, ECPAT director for Latin America, says Central America is a hub for trafficking in minors, child pornography and sex tourism.

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 – ECPAT El Salvador, which is a network of both governmental and non-governmental organizations, has spent the last year refining the National Plan of Action against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (Plan de Acción Nacional contra la Explotación Sexual Comercial de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes en El Salvador  2001-2004). The plan has now been finished and programs and activities have been designed in the areas of coordination and cooperation, prevention, protection for children at risk of becoming victims of CSEC, rehabilitation and reintegration of child victims, and the promotion of child participation. Funding is now being sought in order that the programs in the plan can be successfully implemented.

Child Prostitution: A Growing Scourge

W. E. Gutman, The Panama News, TEGUCIGALPA, Vol. 10, No. 7, April 17, 2004

[accessed 11 May 2011]

[accessed 5 November 2016]

A REGION OUT OF CONTROL - El Salvador is a country of origin and destination for the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.  Sex tourism is becoming ever more lucrative.  Interpol has discovered a network that shuttles children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and forces them into prostitution in bars along the El-Salvador-Guatemala border.

Country Report - El Salvador

US State Dept Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Trafficking in Persons Report, June 14, 2004

[accessed 11 May 2011]

[scroll down]

PROSECUTION - In 2003, police arrested 33 individuals for commercial sexual exploitation of minors, prosecutors presented 51 individuals charged with involvement in child prostitution to the courts for either their initial hearing or trial, and San Salvador courts tried 17 individuals for violating anti-prostitution laws. Of these 17, one was convicted for involvement in child prostitution.

Crime and Society - A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World

Dr. Robert Winslow, San Diego State University, "A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World"

[accessed 11 May 2011]

CHILDREN - Child prostitution is a problem. Between 10 and 25 percent of visible prostitutes are minors, and an estimated 40 percent of the hidden prostitutes who cater to upper-class clients are believed to be minors, according UNICEF.

Regional Governmental Congress on Sexual Exploitation of Children  [PDF]

Blanca Flor América Bonilla, Report on Legislation and Public Policies against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents

[accessed 19 November 2016]

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution – El Salvador",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [El Salvador]  [other countries]