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

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                 


Since independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has faced the economic problems of a small, desperately poor country, accentuated by the recent implementation of restrictive economic policies.

Like the economies of many African nations, the economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture, with 80% of the population involved in farming and herding.

Eritrea's economic future depends upon its ability to master social problems such as illiteracy, unemployment, and low skills, and more importantly, on the government's willingness to support a true market economy.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Eritrea

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Eritrea.  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.


(III) Eritrea, a Nation in Overall Crisis: Coping Strategies in Hard Times

Mussie Hadgu , Asmarino Independent, 16 April 2009

[accessed 12 January 2015]


7. Prostitution and child labour: As the bread winners of the households are absent, families resort to sending their children to work in different economic activities such as restaurants, bars, and other activities such as being street vendors. Some of the underage girls finally end up as sex workers. Many adult women also resort to the prostitution as a coping strategy. However, as the government targets and sends the sex workers and children who are street vendors or street children or any child or adult person out of school to military training, mere observation of the number of sex workers and of children engaged in the above mentioned activities does not give the actual picture of the scale of child labour and prostitution in the country. - sccp


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor [PDF]

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2007

[accessed 4 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - In Eritrea, children work on the street, in the agricultural sector, and as domestic servants.  Children living in rural areas often work in family businesses, including subsistence farming, and engage in such activities as fetching firewood and water, and herding livestock. Children are expected to work from about age 5 by looking after livestock and working in the fields. For children working in urban areas street vending is typical, however this is not widely prevalent. Many underage apprentices work in shops and workshops such as garages or metal workshops in towns.  Children are reportedly involved in prostitution. However, specific data on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Eritrea is lacking. Although the law prohibits recruitment of children under 18 into the armed forces, concerns exist regarding the training and recruiting of children for military service.

Human Rights Reports » 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 25, 2009

[accessed 4 February 2011]

CHILDREN - The law criminalizes child prostitution, pornography, and sexual exploitation; however, there were reports that children participated in prostitution.

The Protection Project - Eritrea [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Most reported cases of trafficking in persons in Eritrea concern the buying and selling of children. There are credible reports that children between the ages of 14 and 18 have been used as soldiers, and it is widely acknowledged that children fought during the war for independence from Ethiopia.  In addition, displaced women and children fleeing conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia have ended up in prostitution in Djibouti.

FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE - The 4,200-strong United Nations Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), composed of United Nations soldiers and military observers, has been deployed in the buffer zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea since the signing of the peace accords in December 2000.  The presence of these troops has worried many Eritreans, who are concerned about the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus. Their fears were heightened by reports from Cambodia that peacekeepers had helped spread HIV there.  Foreign soldiers have been accused of purchasing sex from Eritrean children.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Report 2005 - Eritrea

Global March Against Child Labour, 2005

[accessed 14 September 2012]

CHILD PROSTITUTION AND PORNOGRAPHY GENERAL NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS - In 1999, the Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare carried out a survey on commercial sex workers in the country. Although the study was on commercial sex workers in general and not child commercial sex workers in particular, the results of the survey threw some light on the extent and nature of child prostitution in the country. The survey revealed that 5% of sex workers surveyed were children between the ages of 14-17 years. It also indicated that a majority of the children entered the trade at an early age, with most of them starting off as street children and bar maids. Reports indicate that child prostitution is on the increase in the country.

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 - Eritrea",, [accessed <date>]



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