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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Republic of Peru

Peru's economy reflects its varied geography - an arid coastal region, the Andes further inland, and tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. Abundant mineral resources are found in the mountainous areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds.

The Peruvian economy grew by more than 4% per year during the period 2002-06, with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Growth jumped to 9% per year in 2007 and 2008, driven by higher world prices for minerals and metals and the government's aggressive trade liberalization strategies. Peru's rapid expansion has helped to reduce the national poverty rate by about 15% since 2002, though underemployment and inflation remain high.  [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 Peru.  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

Ministry of Interior
01518 0000
Country code: 51-



Four Child Prostitution Rings Identified In Peru

EFE News Service, 16 March 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 17 September 2011]

Save the Children has identified a child prostitution network in the jungle city of Iquitos that smuggles their victims to the Peruvian capital and the northern city of Chiclayo to be sexually exploited.  Another gang recruits minors and forces them to prostitute themselves in residential neighborhood bars in Lima frequented by mostly Asian sailors during their brief shore leaves from the neighboring port of Callao.  The investigation detected similar criminal operations in the Andean cities of Cuzco, Puno and Abancay.  One criminal outfit offers tour "packages" to domestic and foreign tourists in Iquitos that include the sexual favors of a minor.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2014

[accessed 6 September 2020]


Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Peru. The report looks at protection mechanisms, responses, preventive measures, child and youth participation in fighting SEC, and makes recommendations for action against SEC.

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 6 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law prohibits child pornography and stipulates a penalty of four to 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine. The law prohibits child sex trafficking, with a minimum penalty of 12 years in prison. Government officials, police, NGOs, civil society leaders, and journalists identified numerous cases of child sex trafficking during the year. The country remained a destination for child sex tourism.

While the country has strong laws to protect children, it frequently had serious problems with enforcement. Media reported on the sex trafficking of minor girls in the illicit gold mining sites of the remote Amazonian Madre de Dios region. In 2018 a local NGO estimated there were approximately 400 brothels in the Madre de Dios mining region, with hundreds of minor girls living in debt bondage and subjected to sex trafficking. In February the PNP and the armed forces launched an enforcement campaign in Madre de Dios to eliminate illegal gold mining and its related crimes, including human trafficking.

The minimum age for consensual sex is 14. A conviction for rape of a child younger than 14 carries penalties ranging from 25 years to life in prison. The law also prohibits adults from using deceit, abuse of power, or taking advantage of a child in a vulnerable situation to have sex with a person younger than 18.

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 959]

Reports indicate that existing social programs are not sufficient to fully address the problem of child labor in Peru, including the large number of children who perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. Peru also lacks targeted programs to assist children who are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and children who work in mining, logging, and domestic work. (6,19,20)

Child Labor in Peru

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs

[accessed 5 July 2011]

1. CHILD LABOR IN PERU - Children are involved in prostitution in both Lima and in Peru’s provinces.  Hotel administrators, discos, massage parlors, gyms and employment offices are reportedly involved in organizing adolescent prostitution.  A 1999 study revealed that trafficking of girls and boys for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation occurs in Peru.  Minors are taken from rural areas of the country, promised jobs and the opportunity to earn dollars, and travel to see new places. Instead, they are brought by pimps to secret bordellos and to the streets of Lima to work as prostitutes.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 28 January 2000

[accessed 16 December 2010]

[27] With regard to the sexual exploitation of children, while noting with appreciation the reforms to the State party's Children and Adolescents Code, Penal Code and Penal Procedures Code, as well as other measures in this area, the Committee remains concerned at the absence of a national plan of action to combat and prevent sexual exploitation of children. The limited awareness among the population on sexual exploitation and abuse and on the available measures to identify and report cases of abuse is also a matter of concern.

In Peruvian jungle city, church works to help child prostitutes

Barbara J. Fraser, Catholic News Service CNS, IQUITOS Peru, Apr-25-2006

[accessed 5 July 2011]

With its scenic location -- surrounded by rain forest at the confluence of several rivers that flow into the mighty Amazon -- Iquitos is a popular tourist destination. While there have been reports of foreign tourists luring children for sex or pornography, Ruck and the staff at La Restinga said most people who solicit sex with minors are local residents.

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 – PERU – Initiatives are also being developed by civil society to tackle CSEC. In terms of cooperation and coordination, networks are being created. The Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd are holding workshops on prevention and developing materials that can be used with children who are at risk of becoming victims of CSE. The Club Infantil Los Cachorros is carrying out training on children’s rights, and a shelter for child victims of CSE is managed by the Charismatic Catholic Community

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-ninth session, 6 January 2003$FILE/G0310090.doc

[accessed 5 July 2011]

[60] Sale and trafficking of persons generally is addressed in terms of criminalizing, forcing or seducing someone in order to deliver him/her to another for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and the Penal Code criminalizes the exploitation of a child through prostitution.  If the child is under 14, the penalty is between 4 and 12 years’ imprisonment.  The crime of producing and selling child pornography was incorporated into the Penal Code in 2001.Child victims of these offences are not criminally responsible, but the family judge may order protective measures in respect of the child.




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 16 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 – Many children, most of whom are girls, move from rural areas to urban areas where they live with families and perform domestic work. In 2003, there were reports of children serving in the army in the Department of Loreto. Boys and girls are also victims of commercial sexual exploitation. There is internal trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic service in Peru.

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]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - Internal trafficking was a far greater problem. NGOs and international organizations maintained that significant domestic trafficking occurred, particularly to bring underage women from the Amazon district or the sierras into the cities or into mining areas to work as prostitutes or to work in homes as domestics. This trafficking took place through informal networks that could involve boyfriends and even the families of the young women victims.

The government coordinated its anti-trafficking activities with NGOs. A Catholic order of nuns, the Sisters of Adoration, operated 3 programs for underage female prostitutes, a live-in center for approximately 75 girls (and 20 children of the victims) in Callao and 2 other walk-in centers in Lima. All facilities offered medical attention, job training, and self-esteem workshops in an attempt to remove underage girls from the streets. The government's Institute for Adolescents and Children provided the Adoring Sisters with the live-in facility and paid for utilities and food.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] Although there were no reliable statistics on its extent, NGOs and other observers maintained that the country suffered a serious problem with adolescent prostitution, as demonstrated by police raids on clandestine brothels.

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