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Human Trafficking
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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Independent State of

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 75% of the population. Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings.

A consortium led by a major American oil company hopes to begin the commercialization of the country's estimated 227 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves through the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility by 2010. The project has the potential to double the GDP of Papua New Guinea.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: PapuaNewGuinea

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Papua New Guinea.  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.


Pacific Island children risk sex abuse

Pacific Island News Association (Fiji) Pacnews, Wellington, 15 Dec 2006

[accessed 3 July 2011]

Children in Pacific Island countries are at high risk of being traded for sex by family members and friends, a United Nations study has found, Stuff NZ reports.  The report from studies in five Pacific Island countries found an alarming degree of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and that "children are most at risk in their homes and communities and with people they know and trust".

The report, by the UN Children's Fund Pacific, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and End Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes, is based on studies in 2004 and 2005 in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The report in its summary said the five studies confirmed that in each country children were sexually abused by family members and neighbours, and that child prostitution, child pornography, early marriage, child sex tourism and trafficking occurred.

Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 23 April 2002

[accessed 6 October 2012]

[392] Child prostitution has also become an important means of economic survival in Papua New Guinea’s urban centres and in rural areas where large resource exploitation projects are in operation (mining, logging, fishing, etc.). Child prostitution was common in colonial times, when many girls were trafficked among the colonial administrators and business personnel, even in the remote rural areas. Child prostitution has always been visible but tolerated and there has been little systematic State intervention or sanctions. Prostitution by young women is now obvious in the large urban centres and in the centres and camps associated with mining and logging enclaves. In the capital, there are many allegations of abduction, rape and other abuses of young prostitutes by police. Child prostitution attracted attention in the 1990s because of the awareness of AIDS and concerns about its transmission.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT National Child Protection Systems in the East Asia & Pacific Region [PDF]

Thompstone, Crispin, Tassone & Casey, Child Frontiers Ltd., 2014

[accessed 6 September 2020]

Mapping and assessments of the child protection systems in 14 East Asian and Pacific countries. Includes recommendations to strengthen these structures.

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 papua-new-guinea/

[accessed 6 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The minimum age for consensual sex is 16. The maximum penalty for violators is 25 years’ imprisonment or, if the victim is younger than age 12, life imprisonment. Child pornography is illegal; penalties range from five to 15 years’ imprisonment, but enforcement remained a problem. There were cases of sex trafficking of children in urban areas, including of minors working in bars and nightclubs. There were reports of exploitation of children through the production of pornography and that both local and foreign children were subjected to sex trafficking. Although the law criminalizes child pornography, it does not specifically prohibit using, procuring, and offering a child for pornographic performances. NGOs reported increased prevalence of child sex trafficking.

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 6 September 2020]

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

[page 940]

Research was unable to determine whether the government carried out programs specifically designed to assist children engaged in commercial sexual exploitation, domestic work, or mining. Neither the Government of Papua New Guinea nor NGOs funded specific human trafficking victim services. (35,2,44) While 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain was inoperable during the reporting year, the International Organization for Migration maintained a hotline that also provided anti-human trafficking information and resources. (35,45)

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 January 2004

[accessed 15 December 2010]

[59] The Committee, while noting with appreciation the recent amendments to relevant legislation and the formulation of a draft National Plan of Action to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children and sexual exploitation in its wider context, remains concerned at the seemingly high incidence of child prostitution in the State party and the lack of accurate data and adequate policies in this regard.

Cops crack child sex ring

Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association PAC, Port Moresby, 28 MAY 2007

[partially accessed 3 July 2011 - access restricted]

Police in Madang have uncovered a child prostitution and sex trade involving local underage girls and foreigners

The source said more than five girls under the ages of 15 were taken to a house under the guise of being employed as cooks, cleaners and house girls.

The source in their investigations found that the girls were employed as housegirls and cleaners but were allegedly forced to have paid sex with foreign men. This had been going on even before October last year, when police were first informed of the incident.

Report on the Pacific Regional Workshop on Combating Poverty and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth [PDF]

Inter-Agency Group (IAG) consisting of ESCAP, UNICEF-EAPRO and ECPAT International,  Nadi Fijii, 15-19 September, 2003

Click [here] for more information about the article.  Its URL is not displayed because of its length

[accessed 10 June 2011]

[p.42] CSEC - Sex work is widespread in Papua New Guinea’s urban areas with more than 15,000 sex workers active in Port Moresby, Lae and Goroka. In Port Moresby and Lae, child prostitution is increasing as social and economic problems increase. Child prostitution is also growing in areas where large resource development projects such as mining, logging or fishing are underway. Preliminary research findings indicate that one third of the sex workers in resource development areas are children aged between 13 and 19, although children as young as 11 have been found to be working in the sex industry.

PNG addresses CSEC within the wider context of the sexual exploitation of children regardless of a commercial interest, however most cases of child abuse go unreported. There are many factors which encourage the under-reporting of sexual violence and abuse including feelings of hopelessness, cultural taboos that encourage complacency, fear of retribution from the perpetrator and their family, and a lack of awareness of the issue.

The Protection Project - Papua New Guinea [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTUREPacific Island children may be particularly easy targets for child sex tourists. The South Pacific is emerging as a huge tourist destination. As police crack down on sex offenders in the home countries of child sex tourists (e.g., Australia), as well as in the more popular sex tourist destinations in Asia, there is growing concern that child sex tourism and associated activities are on the increase in the South Pacific In fact, sex tourists have been blamed for the latest eruption of HIV infections in the region. Fear of infection and stricter laws have prompted many sex tourists to skip traditional Southeast Asian destinations in favor of the South Pacific. Officially, however, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is still lower in the South Pacific than in any other region in the world.

Five 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 PAPUA NEW GUINEA – The Department of National Planning and Monitoring, in conjunction with other sectors, is committed to developing a National Plan of Action for Children for the period 2001-2010. To this end, a leadership forum was recently convened to provide cross-sectoral and citizen input into the development process. It is not known whether this general plan will include CSEC provisions.

Delegates agree to strengthen efforts to reduce demand for CSEC

Joint Media Release: ECPAT International, UNESCAP, UNICEF, 11 November 2004, Bangkok

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

[accessed 17 September 2011]

In the Pacific Islands, ongoing research is revealing growing problems of commercial sexual exploitation. In the Solomon Islands, for example, girls are still forced into early marriages and recent violence has led to a surge in child rapes and in boys and girls being forced into prostitution for economic survival. Child marriage is also a major problem in Papua New Guinea, and is a basis of demand for internal trafficking of children.

Fight Child Prostitution By Curbing Demand

Marwaan Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, BANGKOK, November 10, 2004

[accessed 3 July 2011]

In the Asia-Pacific region, there are a number of cultural practices that make it difficult to combat demand … Part of that has been fed by the belief pervasive among men in parts of Asia and the Pacific that sex with a virgin or child ensures safety against contracting the killer disease AIDS. "In Papua New Guinea, men believe that if they have sex with a virgin they won't get AIDS," said Alastair Wilkinson of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a regional U.N. agency.




The Department of Labor’s 2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor [PDF]

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2006

[accessed 15 December 2010]

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

CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - The Government of Papua New Guinea has a “National Child Protection Service” to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children.  UNICEF, with the support of the government, is also implementing a child protection program that includes advocacy for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, with a particular focus on commercial sexual exploitation.

Human Rights Reports » 2006 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 - Sexual abuse of children was believed to be frequent. There were cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children in urban areas, including children working in bars and nightclubs.

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