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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

The Maldives

In late December 2004, a major tsunami left more than 100 dead, 12,000 displaced, and property damage exceeding $300 million. As a result of the tsunami, the GDP contracted by about 4.6% in 2005.

Government spending on social needs, subsidies, and civil servant salaries have created a large budget deficit and inflation has picked up sharply, reaching nearly 13% in October 2008 due to high oil and food prices. Diversifying beyond tourism and fishing, reforming public finance, and increasing employment are the major challenges facing the government. [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 Maldives. 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.

*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Regional Overview: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in South Asia [PDF]

ECPAT International, November 2014

[accessed 3 September 2020]

Maps 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, and child early and forced marriage (CEFM). Other topics include child labour, poverty and inequality, armed conflicts, natural disasters and displacement, migration, HIV/AIDS, and traditions.

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 Child Rights Protection Act ratified in November prohibits using, procuring, and offering children for pornographic performances. The crime is punishable by imprisonment of five to 25 years. The act stipulates that a child between ages 13 and 18 involved in a sexual act is deemed not to have given consent, “unless otherwise proven.” The law also treats the prostitution of children by a third party as a form of human trafficking with exploitation under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act, subject to a 15-year maximum sentence. The penal code allows the Prosecutor General’s Office to lodge multiple charges against a perpetrator for a single offense. For sex trafficking, this means the office can file charges for human trafficking under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act and for prostitution under the Child Rights Protection Act and aggregate the penalties so perpetrators serve longer sentences for a single offense. During the year the MPS investigated six cases of child pornography, and forwarded two for prosecution as of July. It also investigated two reports of child prostitution, but closed both after finding no evidence of any prostitution. The Ministry of Gender, Family, and Social Services received two reports of commercial sexual exploitation of children as of July. The Ministry and NGOs reported that, although there have been no confirmed reports of child sex tourism, government authorities lack the capacity to monitor the guesthouse tourism sector in remote islands.

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 3 September 2020]

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

[page 757]

No current data are available on child labor in Maldives, and a national survey on child labor has not been conducted. Maldivian children from the outer islands are brought to the capital, Malé, for domestic work. Some of these children are reported to be victims of forced labor and sexual abuse. (2) In addition, some girls from Bangladesh and Maldives are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to Maldives. (2) There also are some reports of foreign tourists engaging in commercial sexual exploitation of children. (3)

In 2018, the MPS conducted awareness-raising programs for 36 guesthouse operators and resort managers on protecting children from commercial sexual exploitation within the tourism industry. (6,18) However, Family and Child Services centers and shelters lack adequate financial and human resources, and staff are inadequately trained to deal with cases involving abused and exploited children. (14) In addition, research was unable to determine what activities were undertaken during the reporting period to implement existing social programs. These programs also do not specifically address the commercial sexual exploitation of children, use of children for drug trafficking, or forced labor in domestic work.

The Protection Project - The Maldives [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING AND FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE - Although tourism is a major source of income in Maldives, the government claims that it does not face a problem with child sex tourism. It attributes this absence of child sex tourism to the geographical characteristics of the country and the strict rules for tourists. For example, tourists are prohibited from staying on local inhabited islands without permission; as a result, tourists have little contact with local people. Furthermore, the local culture and religion strictly forbid prostitution, and discussing topics of a sexual nature is taboo. The Maldives government also claims that commercial sexual exploitation of children is not a problem.

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 - Maldives",, [accessed <date>]