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

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                                                                   

Republic of Estonia

Estonia, a 2004 European Union entrant, has a modern market-based economy and one of the highest per capita income levels in Central Europe.

Estonia's economy slowed down markedly and even fell into recession in mid-2008, primarily as a result of an investment and consumption slump following the bursting of the real estate market bubble.  [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 Estonia.  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.


Protection Project Country Report on Finland [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Tallinn, Estonia, and St. Petersburg, Russia, have become large centers for child prostitution, and to a large extent the customers come from Finland. Buying sex from minors is a crime according to Finnish law, even when it takes place abroad; however, there is less risk of getting caught in those cities. A number of Finnish men have recently been investigated for pedophile crimes in Estonia. A Finnish public radio reported that several Finnish firms were organizing sex tours to Estonia, and some of the girls whose services have been used on such tours have been only 12 to 13 years of age.


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ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - Estonia [PDF]

ECPAT 2006

[accessed 12 May 2011]

Children are procured for exploitation in prostitution in brothels or ‘apartment firms’, which do not openly offer sexual services (instead they offer sauna, massage, etc.) but are widely available and advertised through newspapers, the Internet and taxi drivers. An inquiry by police officers in the capital Tallinn estimated that 27 per cent of the 1,000 sex workers in the city were under 18, and other research studies have estimated a similar proportion within the country. They can be as young as 13, but most are between 15 and 17 years old; the majority are female, and it does not appear that a large number of young boys are victimised. Most of the sexual exploitation of children occurs in the larger cities. Brothel clients include local men as well as foreign sex tourists, and in the summertime the number of clients increases.

Children who lack proper parental care and spend a lot of time on the streets, as well as children placed in foster families and orphanages, find themselves at a very high risk of becoming victims of prostitution. Most of them end up in prostitution independently, rather than through procuring organisations or pimps. Also vulnerable are a large number of Russian-speaking children (both foreigners and Estonians) whose families have had difficulty integrating into Estonian society. Some children enter prostitution after becoming addicted to drugs, and procurers use their addiction to better control them.

The Department of Labor’s 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2004

[accessed 4 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children are engaged in prostitution in Estonia. Estonia is a source country for women and girls trafficked internally and abroad for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. There is also evidence that children are involved in drug trafficking, and there is a connection between drug use and children engaged 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 4 February 2011]

CHILDREN - There were reports of child prostitution.  Trafficking of children for sexual exploitation was a problem.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – A recent study carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in which more than 160 domestic and international sources (including EUROPOL, INTERPOL, law enforcement, NGOs, IOM, and governmental ministries from the region) participated, estimates that the number of women and children trafficked into, through, and from the country between 2001 and 2004 was below 100. Women and minors were trafficked from the country to Nordic countries and Western Europe or in or to Estonia for sexual exploitation.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

[accessed 4 February 2011]

[48] The Committee is concerned at the insufficient information and awareness of the extent of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. It is also concerned that there is no specific prohibition in law of trafficking in human beings, including for the purpose of prostitution.

Estonia working hard to reduce child exploitation, UN human rights expert finds

UN News Service, 24 October 2008

[accessed 12 May 2011]

Estonia is taking clear steps to protect its children from prostitution, pornography and exploitation, but its young people remain at risk and continued vigilance from authorities is needed, an independent United Nations human rights expert warned today after visiting the Baltic country.

She welcomed statistics that showed extremely low numbers of cases of child prostitution or child pornography in recent years, and no cases of the sale of children.

Estonian children now receive greater protection during testimony, information campaigns have been held to promote children’s rights and counselling has been introduced for at-risk children on issues such as HIV/AIDS, drug addiction, abuse and violence.

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 – ESTONIA – In Estonia, 26% of prostitutes are minors. 50% of the exploiters are estimated to be Estonian and the rest are foreigners, mainly Russian, Swedish and Finnish nationals. Around 70% of the street boys have been, or are, involved in CSEC as a means of survival. The majority of street children in Tallinn are of Russian origin. In Tartu, there is also a problem of street children involved in CSE, but their origin is not Russian and they are usually runaways from violent families. Child sex tourism and child pornography are associated mainly with Finnish nationals, with the abuse taking place in hotels in Tallinn.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-ninth session, 6 January 2003$FILE/G0310090.doc

[accessed 12 May 2011]

[40] The sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography constitute criminal offences.  Children from the age of 14 can be criminally liable but if they are victims of sale, trafficking or involvement in prostitution and pornography, they will not be criminally liable.  In 2001, there were 58 prosecutions under the Criminal Code for inducing minors to engage in crime or prostitution.  For criminal proceedings involving minors, there are currently four specially furnished and equipped rooms for interviewing child victims in Estonia, but there is no special training for prosecutors, judges and social workers to handle such cases.  Rehabilitation programs, including counseling, therapy and support services, are available for children in the bigger cities only.

Project for the Prevention of Adolescent Trafficking

The International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA), NGO Living for Tomorrow, and AIDS-I Tugikeskus AIDS Information & Support Center,  November 30, 2001

[accessed 4 February 2011]

III. TARGET POPULATION - ADOLESCENT SEX WORKERS UNDER THE AGE OF 25 -  PPAT is unique because it has a special component targeting adolescent sex workers, the group most at risk for becoming victims of trafficking.  Because of the stigmatization surrounding prostitution, many anti-trafficking groups try to hide the reality that many trafficking victims knew or suspected that they would be working in the sex industry.  As a result, trafficking prevention programs neglect prostitutes, the population most at risk.  PPAT incorporates a special component targeting adolescent prostitutes in an effort to protect the health and human rights of all adolescents.

No indication of widespread organised child prostitution in Finland

Helsingin Sanomat International Edition, December 6, 2002

[accessed 12 May 2011]

Mero believes that Finland does not have any real organised child prostitution activities. However, he says that some boys and girls have been known to sell themselves near Helsinki's Central Railway Station.  In addition to Finns, child prostitutes in Finland have come from Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

It is a crime under Finnish law to buy sex services from anyone under the age of 18 - even if the crime itself takes place in outside Finland. There is a certain amount of child sex tourism originating in Finland, mainly to Russia, Estonia, and the Far East.

The Incidence of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Baltic Sea Region

[accessed 12 May 2011]

Statistical data on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children are lacking in every country in the Baltic Sea Region.  Nevertheless, even though some Member States do not have any information about the existence of commercial sexual exploitation of children, the Expert Group has information that some perpetrators come from these states ...

Estonia: About 60 % of the girls who prostitute themselves in Tallinn are between 15 and 19 years old [Source: National Aids Prevention Centre].

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Baltic Sea Region - Legislation

[accessed 12 May 2011]

ESTONIA - There are special provisions against commercial sexual exploitation of children in the Criminal Code. It is illegal to persuade or mediate a minor into prostitution, to purchase or sell children and to exchange or steal a child for the purpose of revenge or personal profit or some other personal motive. The sanction for these crimes is imprisonment.

Children and Adolescents Involved in Drug Use and Trafficking: A Rapid Assessment [PDF]

Nelli Kalikova, Aljona Kurbatova & Ave Talu, International Labour Organisation ILO, International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour IPEC, Geneva, June 2002

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

[accessed 12 May 2011]

[page 57]  9.1 CHILDREN ENGAGED IN PROSTITUTION - Recently the engagement of juveniles in prostitution has become a more and more acute problem in Estonia and it is very closely connected with the consumption of drugs. Unfortunately, this problem has been overshadowed by other social concerns, and juvenile prostitution does not get the attention it deserves in our 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 - Estonia",, [accessed <date>]



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