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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Republic of Mauritius

Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality and property development. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15% of export earnings.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Mauritius

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Mauritius.  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 [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Prostitution is rampant in Port Louis, the capital city, and it exists in other regions of the country as well. Prostitution is more prevalent in tourist resorts than in other areas, and most prostitution clients are foreigners. Child prostitution within Mauritius is increasing, with children originating from all parts of Mauritius and from all ethnic groups. It is believed that most of the demand for prostituted children comes from local clients.


*** ARCHIVES ***

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

Kevin Ryu and Maria Ibañez Beltran, ECPAT International, June 2019

[accessed 25 August 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Mauritius, Africa. 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 prohibits child pornography and provides for a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine not exceeding 100,000 rupees ($2,747) for each offense. The law prohibits all forms of child sex trafficking and provides for a maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment. The minimum age for consensual sex is 16. The penalty for rape is imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine not exceeding 200,000 rupees ($5,494). In addition, the Judicial Provisions Act of 2008 prescribes punishment for child trafficking offenses of up to 30 years’ imprisonment.

The government assisted victims of child abuse by offering counseling at a drop-in center in Port Louis and referring victims to government-supported NGO shelters. Both medical treatment and psychological support were available at public clinics and NGO centers.

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 789]

Some children in Mauritius are brought into commercial sexual exploitation by their peers or family members, or through fraudulent offers of other employment. (1,3,8)

In 2018, the Child Development Unit trained 17 newly recruited officers on investigating reports of commercial sexual exploitation of children. (37) In addition, the police’s Family Protection Unit and Minors’ Brigade conducted more than 110 outreach campaigns on the dangers and consequences of engaging in child sex trafficking, which reached more than 31,000 people. (3)

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 11 October 1996

[accessed 1 March 2011]

[18] The Committee is concerned by the reported increase in child abuse, including infanticide, domestic violence and child prostitution and the lack of adequate measures for the psycho-social recovery of child victims of such abuse.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, 1996

[accessed 19 September 2011]

[245] The Committee recommends an in-depth study and analysis of the situation of child abuse, child prostitution, domestic violence against women, teenage pregnancy, abortion, suicide, and alcohol and drug abuse, and of how the State party can best protect and ensure the economic, social and cultural rights of the population of Mauritius affected by those problems. In this regard, the State party should, inter alia, initiate efforts to gather statistics and other information relevant to the situation.

Young boys sold for sex

[Last access date unavailable]

The problem of child prostitution in Mauritius is getting worse and it needs to be addressed. Even small boys are being forced into prostitution.

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 – MAURITIUS – According to UNICEF, the National Plan of Action against CSEC in Mauritius has been very useful in the fight against CSEC. It has provided a framework for action by identifying the steps which need to be taken, the strategies which need to be adopted and, most importantly, identifying the various partners to carry out the activities. The plan has also provided a platform of consensus for all partners concerning CSEC and measures to combat the problem. With regard to cooperation, an inter-ministerial committee has been set up to look into CSEC and to decide on measures to be taken. However, little has been done because of the lack of technical and human resources in the country. In December 2000, a trainer from ECPAT International carried out training for social workers, and a training manual for caregivers will soon be adapted for Mauritius. Meanwhile, to assess the extent of CSEC in Mauritius, an ECPAT consultant visited the country and advised on a prevention program.

ECPAT: What Makes Children Vulnerable to Sexual Exploitation?

ECPAT International

[accessed 15 September 2011]

DISCRIMINATION / ETHNICITY - In a study conducted in 2000 by the Ministry of Women, Family Welfare and Child Development in Mauritius on the commercial sexual exploitation of children, it was noted that the majority of children involved in prostitution were from slum (squat) communities. These areas are predominantly inhabited by the minority 'Creole'.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999

Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations

[accessed 19 June 2011]

ARTICLE 3 CLAUSE (b) - A second study in 2001, commissioned by UNICEF and the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development and Family Welfare, which revealed that there are more than 2,600 children and 3,900 adults involved in prostitution. Based on the findings and recommendations of the report of the second study, a two-year National Plan of Action has been prepared by the Government focusing on the four recommendations made at the first world conference on CSEC held in Stockholm in 1996, namely: (i) coordination and cooperation; (ii) prevention; (iii) protection; and (iv) reintegration.

List of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the second periodic report of the Republic of Mauritius [DOC]


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

[accessed 15 September 2011]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND SEXUAL ABUSE - Sexual exploitation of Children is covered mostly by the provisions of the Child Protection Act and the Criminal Act. A study on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in Mauritius has been completed in 2002 and provides a comprehensive understanding of the problem. A plan of action was developed with UNICEF assistance. The National Plan of Action (NPA) on CSEC in order to prevent and progressively eliminate CSEC and also to protect CSEC victims and ensure their recovery and integration in society is being implemented. While preparing the NPA, an integrated and holistic approach has been adopted for the implementation of activities on protection of children. It has a broad scope geared towards the overall protection of children from any forms of abuse including commercial sexual exploitation in line with existing legislation and the provisions of the CRC.

Contemporary Forms Of Slavery

Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Program of Action for the Prevention of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, submitted pursuant to Sub-Commission resolution 1998/19- 2003

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

[accessed 19 June 2011]

MAURITIUS - Key findings

- It is estimated that there are more than 2,600 children and 3,900 adults involved in prostitution.  (They come from both rural and urban areas and form the main ethnic groups in Mauritius with a high prevalence in the Christian group);

- The underlying causes of CSEC are broken families, sexual abuse within and outside the family, early school dropouts, substance abuse and the negative influence of the family environment and peers;

- Monthly income of the majority of the families of young victims of CSEC is less than Rs 5,000;

- 13.5 per cent of the children covered in the study had become child mothers, over one third of them had had an abortion and 62.5 per cent of the children had a family member or close relation working as a sex worker, in particular, their own mother;

- 96 per cent of young prostitutes engage in sexual relations at a very early age of their life and many of them have had sex for the first time with their boyfriends. More than 57 per cent of the children had their first sexual experience in return for a gift or money;

 -CSEC takes place at nightclubs, hotels, brothels, apartments/bungalows, residence of pimps or pensions.  Taxi drivers and hotel employees are involved in the prostitution network and act as procurers for tourists.  Mobile phones are the means of communication for making arrangements from where vulnerable children are spotted and recruited.  It also appears that the tentacles of the network extend to schools;

- The money paid to victims varies from Rs 400 per hour or Rs 3,000 per day and Rs 700 to Rs 4,000 per night;

- The majority of clients are local people, although young prostitutes do have foreign tourists as clients (19.8 per cent) and 20.5 per cent of the children work under leaders, 51 per cent of whom are men;

- The majority of children involved in prostitution have been to school, but more than 57 per cent of them dropped out of school at grade 6.  This deprived them of opportunities of employment and restricted their options in life;

 -There is a correlation between drug abuse and prostitution.  Over 25 per cent of the children had taken drugs at some time or other and 12.5 per cent were in the habit of taking drugs;

- Symptoms of reproductive tract infection are quite common among child victims.  Certain vital facts about AIDS are unknown to children and a sizeable section of them do not even know that AIDS is incurable.

Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women [DOC]

UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women CEDAW, 19 January 2005

[accessed 19 June 2011]

Article 6: Exploitation of Women

[2] Following the findings of the CSEC report a High Level Steering Committee has been set up. It is monitoring the implementation of a National Plan of Action (NPA) on the Protection of Children against Sexual Abuse including Sexual exploitation of Children in Mauritius, in order to eliminate CSEC and to protect CSEC victims and ensure their recovery and integration in society. The NPA covers a 2-year period, starting February 2003, and its objective is to ensure the protection of children from any form of abuse as well as the creation of a conducive environment within the family and the civil society. Consequently, the NPA is based on the four components of the Agenda of Action Against CSEC adopted at Stockholm that is, a) Coordination and cooperation; b) Prevention: c) Protection; and d) Recovery and re-integration.




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

ECPAT International, 2007

[accessed 19 June 2011]

According to a 2003 study conducted by the University of Mauritius, the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is well organised in the country. It is perpetrated by powerful criminal rings with the assistance of intermediaries such as taxi drivers, caretakers of bungalows and pensionnat (boarding schools), staff from hotels, bars and nightclubs, relatives of the children, and some influential members of society. The exploitation of children takes place in nightclubs, brothels, apartments, bungalows and in the residences of pimps. Child victims come from all regions and ethnic groups; it is estimated that around 2,600 girls below the age of 18 are currently exploited in commercial sex. There is no information regarding the incidence of boys’ prostitution. Reports indicate that children generally enter prostitution between the ages of 10 and 17, the average age being 13. Child prostitution is quite prevalent in Port Louis, the capital city, and also occurs in other regions of the country, such as Rodrigues. Most of the demand for sex with children comes from local perpetrators.

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 20 February 2011]

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

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Mauritius has an estimated 2,600 child prostitutes and is a source and destination country for children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Children are also trafficked internally for exploitation in the sex tourism industry.

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 was a problem, and the government targeted the practice as a law enforcement and prevention priority. There were reports that some schoolgirls, independent of third party involvement, engaged in prostitution for spending money.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – There were reports that children were trafficked within the country for child prostitution. There were reports that some schoolgirls worked in conjunction with prostitution rings or family members. The government continued a five-year action plan to combat child prostitution, and the Ministry of Women, Child Development, and Family Welfare ran a hotline for reporting cases of child prostitution. Government officials and agencies in the Ministry of Women's Rights, in the Attorney General's office, and in the police department sought ways to prevent and prosecute child prostitution. NGOs and the government drop-in center provided shelters, counseling, and education for victims of child prostitution.

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