Main Menu
Human Trafficking
Street Children


The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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


Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. After coming to office in 2003, former Prime Minister Abdullah tried to move the economy farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in high technology industries, medical technology, and pharmaceuticals. The Government of Malaysia is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand to wean the economy off of its dependence on exports. Nevertheless, exports - particularly of electronics - remain a significant driver of the economy.


Real GDP growth averaged about 6% per year under Abdullah, but regions outside of Kuala Lumpur and the manufacturing hub Penang did not fare as well.  [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 Malaysia.  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

Tenaganita (NGO), in cooperation with the police

03 2697 3671

Country code: 60-



Khmer girls' trafficking ordeal

Kylie Morris, BBC News, Thai-Cambodian border, 2 June, 2005

[accessed 20 February 2011]

LOOKING FOR CASH - She and her cousin were 16 years old when they decided, against their family's wishes, to travel to Bangkok. The New Year was approaching, and they wanted some extra cash for the festive season.  A neighbour had told them they could make good money washing dishes in a restaurant in the Thai capital.  They were smuggled across the border in the back of a pick-up truck, covered by a tarpaulin. When they finally reached the capital, they were taken to an apartment. But they soon realised something was wrong.  One explained: "A businessman arrived at our apartment and asked us to open our clothes, because he wanted to look at our bodies. He asked if I had a husband. That's when I knew we weren't going to work in a restaurant.

"At first I refused to have sex with men. Then I was beaten so badly I had to hide my face for a month, until it healed. Then I was told again I would have to sleep with the customers. I knew if I refused I would be beaten again. I had no choice but to agree." htcp


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT - Report on the scale, scope and context of the sexual exploitation of children  [PDF]

Angharad Smith, Lydie Pak and Adaiana Souza Lima, ECPAT International, October 2019

[accessed 25 August 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Malaysia, Southeast Asia. The overview gathers existing publicly available information on sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT), online child sexual exploitation (OCSE), trafficking of children for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, child early and forced marriage (CEFM) and identifies gaps, research needs, and recommendations.

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 3 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law outlaws pornography and states that a child is considered a victim of sexual abuse if he or she has taken part as a participant or an observer in any activity that is sexual in nature for the purposes of a photograph, recording, film, videotape, or performance. In 2018 federal police reported detecting approximately 20,000 internet addresses in the country uploading and downloading child pornography. Under the law the minimum age for consensual, noncommercial sex is 16 for both boys and girls. A conviction for trafficking in persons involving a child for the purposes of sexual exploitation carries a punishment of three to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine. There is a special court for sexual crimes against children, established to speed up trials which often took years to conclude. Child prostitution existed, and a local NGO estimated in 2015 that 5,000 children were involved in sex work in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas. Authorities, however, often treated children engaged in prostitution as offenders or undocumented immigrants rather than as victims.

The government focused on preventing sexual exploitation of children, including commercial sexual exploitation. In August the king, on the advice of the government, appointed Noor Aziah Mohd Awal to be SUHAKAM’s commissioner for children in order to resolve issues related to the protection of children.

The law provides for six to 20 years’ imprisonment and caning for persons convicted of incest.

A child’s testimony is acceptable only if there is corroborating evidence, which posed special problems for molestation cases in which the child victim was the only witness.

Human trafficking ring busted

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Jakarta, 17 August 2006

[accessed 20 February 2011]

The victims, aged 14 to 17, were promised jobs in Jakarta as domestic workers, but were then flown to West Kalimantan province on the Indonesian side of Borneo and taken across the border into Malaysia, sometimes using false travel documents. htcp

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 – MALAYSIA – Although Malaysia has been considered a trafficking destination for women and children from other Southeast Asian countries, evidence has emerged that Malaysian girls have also been trafficked for sexual purposes.

Child Prostitution In Malaysia Is Worrying

Bernama, Kuala Lumpur, Nov 8, 2005

[accessed 16 June 2011]

Stringent laws are needed to stem the growing child prostitution in the country, the president of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) said Tuesday.  "Malaysia has seen an increase in child prostitution with an average of about 150 to160 local girls detained annually for participation in immoral activities.

Statement By Ambassador Jasmi Md. Yusoff, Representative Of Malaysia On Agenda Item 112: Promotion And Protection Of The Rights Of Children

Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations, 29 October 1999

[accessed 16 June 2011]

Malaysia strongly deplores the practice of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and has criminalized these activities in the country. We are very concerned that an increasing number of girls and boys from development countries are being trafficked to developed countries as well as between regions and states for their exploitation. The rise and unabated misuse of new information technologies, including the Internet, for purposes of child prostitution, child pornography and child sex tourism must be arrested immediately. My delegation would like to see more Internet service providers comply with existing legislation curtailing these activities.

Sex Industry Assuming Massive Proportions In Southeast Asia

International Labour Organisation ILO News, Geneva, August 19, 1998

[accessed 16 June 2011]

THE CHILD VICTIMS OF PROSTITUTION - In Malaysia, more than half of those "rescued" from various sex establishments were under 18 years.

Statistical Dimension of Sexual Exploitation of Children

Indian NGOs

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

[accessed 16 June 2011]

There are 43,000 to 142,000 or more prostituted persons in Malaysia. Prostituted persons are mainly adult women, but there are also male, transvestite and child prostitutes, both girls and boys.




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 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Child prostitution existed, but child prostitutes often were treated as delinquents rather than victims.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The government assisted some underage prostitutes and rescued some trafficked women and girls during the year.

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 - Malaysia",, [accessed <date>]