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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Republic of Namibia

The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 8% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings.

The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population while about half of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years food shortages are a major problem in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, hides one of the world's most unequal income distributions.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Namibia

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

ECPAT International, November 2014

[accessed 5September 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 gender inequality, armed conflicts, natural disasters, migration, and HIV/AIDS.

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 5 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law criminalizes child pornography, child prostitution, and the actions of both the client and pimp in cases of sexual exploitation of children younger than age 18. NGOs reported HIV/AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children engaged in prostitution without third-party involvement due to economic pressures.

The government enforced the law; perpetrators accused of sexual exploitation of children were routinely charged and prosecuted. The penalties for conviction of soliciting a child younger than age 16 for sex, or more generally for commercial sexual exploitation of a child (including through pornography), are a fine of up to N$40,000 ($2,750), up to 10 years’ imprisonment, or both. Penalties for conviction in cases involving children ages 16 and 17 are the same as for adults. The law makes special provisions to protect vulnerable witnesses, including individuals younger than age 18 or against whom a sexual offense has been committed.

An adult convicted of engaging in sexual relations with a child younger than age 16 in prostitution may be sentenced for up to 15 years’ imprisonment for a first offense and up to 45 years’ imprisonment for a repeat offense. Any person convicted of aiding and abetting trafficking in persons–including child prostitution–within the country or across the border is liable for a fine of up to N$ one million ($69,400) or up to 50 years’ imprisonment. Conviction of solicitation of a prostitute, living off the earnings of prostitution, or keeping a brothel carries penalties of N$40,000 ($2,750), 10 years’ imprisonment, or both.

The minimum legal age for consensual sex is 16. The penalty for conviction of statutory rape–sex with a child younger than 14 when the perpetrator is more than three years older than the victim–is a minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment if the victim is younger than 13 and a minimum of five years’ imprisonment if the victim is 13. There is no minimum penalty for conviction of sexual relations with a child between ages 14 and 16. Possession of or trade in child pornography is illegal. The government trained police officers in handling child sex abuse cases. Centers for abused women and children worked to reduce the trauma suffered by abused children.

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 5 September 2020]

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

[page 845]

Children are trafficked within Namibia for forced labor in agriculture, cattle herding, domestic work, and commercial sexual exploitation. San children are particularly vulnerable to forced labor on farms or in homes. (1,8) Some Angolan children are trafficked into Namibia for forced labor in cattle herding. (1,8) The government has not collected and published data on child labor, including its worst forms, to inform policies and social programs.

The Protection Project - Namibia [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - A recent study by the University of Namibia indicated that young girls in Namibia engage in commercial sex or relationships with older married men in return for cash or gifts. Poverty is usually the main driving force behind such relationships. Reportedly, the number of women and girls working in prostitution in Oshikango, a city on the border to Angola, has increased. There, young Namibian girls engage in commercial sex with foreign truck drivers.




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 9 December 2010]

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 - In 1999, approximately 15.5 percent of boys and 13.9 percent of girls ages 5 to 14 were working in Namibia. The majority of working children were found in the agricultural sector (91.4 percent), followed by services (8.2 percent), manufacturing (0.4 percent), and other sectors (0.1 percent). Children work in commercial and subsistence agriculture, the informal sector, and domestic service. Children find self-employment in basket weaving, traditional beer making, selling fruits and vegetables, barbering, milking cows, and farming communal land. To support their households, children also tend livestock, hunt, fish, and gather wild foods. Children from Angola, Zambia, and other countries neighboring Namibia reportedly enter the country illegally and work on communal farms. Children from poor rural households frequently assist extended family in urban centers with house cleaning, cooking, and child care, in exchange for food, shelter, and sometimes clothes and money. Numerous HIV/AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children are reportedly engaged in commercial sexual exploitation.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Child prostitution occurred, and parents as well as perpetrators were liable in such cases. The growing number of HIV/AIDS orphans increased the vulnerability of children to sexual abuse and exploitation.  Numerous children orphaned by HIV/AIDS engaged in prostitution as a means of survival.

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