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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Russian Federation (Russia)

Russia ended 2008 with GDP growth of 6.0%, following 10 straight years of growth averaging 7% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. Over the last six years, fixed capital investment growth and personal income growth have averaged above 10%, but both grew at slower rates in 2008. Growth in 2008 was driven largely by non-tradable services and domestic manufacturing, rather than exports. During the past decade, poverty and unemployment declined steadily and the middle class continued to expand.

Description: Description: Russia

In mid-November, mini-devaluations of the currency by the Central Bank caused increased capital flight and froze domestic credit markets, resulting in growing unemployment, wage arrears, and a severe drop in production.  [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 Russia.  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

Angel Coalition
8 800 200 2400
Country code: 7-



Stopping sexual abuse of Russian kids

Cesar Chelala M.D., The Japan Times, New York, Sept. 11, 2007

[accessed 20 December 2010]

One of the regrettable consequences of the uneven economic expansion that Russia has experienced in recent times has been the increase in child abuse, particularly child prostitution.

Sexual abuse of children can take several forms — from their use in pornographic materials for sale, to their use in other countries and Russia itself as prostitutes. Lured by fake promises in fashion magazines, some schoolgirls rate prostitution high on the list of modern "professions" to pursue. They believe that prostitution and contact with rich businessmen will provide them with the kind of lifestyle that they could never expect otherwise.

St. Petersburg and the northwest region of Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in the region.  Frequent recruiting targets are street children or children from dysfunctional families. Once they're entrapped, they may end up in brothels and red-light districts as they get older. Recruiters prey on these children's situations, deceiving them into a life of dependency.

Children engaged in prostitution frequently belong to families in extreme poverty, and characterized by alcohol and drug addiction or a hostile family atmosphere. In other cases, they are orphans who have made the street their home. – htsccp


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

Melissa Lonn, ECPAT International, 2012

[accessed 6 September 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in the Russian Federation. 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 age of consent is 16. The law prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation, sale, offering, or procuring for prostitution, and practices related to child pornography. Authorities generally enforced the law. For example, on September 25, authorities arrested an Orthodox priest, Nikolay Stremskiy, who had adopted 70 children and charged him with sexual assault and debauchery. He was alleged to have sexually abused seven of the minors in his care. As of December Stremskiy remained in pretrial detention.

The law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute child pornography, but possession without intent to distribute is not prohibited by law. Manufacture and distribution of pornography involving children younger than age 18 are punishable by two to eight years in prison or three to 10 years in prison if children younger than 14 are involved. Authorities considered child pornography to be a serious problem.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 September 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[78] The Committee is concerned about the large number of children and young people being sexually exploited in the State party. It is concerned that teenage prostitution is an acute problem in the State party. It is also concerned that children aged 14 to 18 years old are not legally protected from involvement in prostitution and pornography.

Pa. businessman charged with sex crimes in Russia

Joann Loviglio, Associated Press AP, Philadelphia, December 03, 2008,4670,SexTourism,00.html

[accessed 14 July 2011]

A federal indictment alleges he molested three teenage girls brought to his apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, from a nearby orphanage in late 2003 and early 2004, then recruited them into an online-based child prostitution business in Moscow that he ran with several other people.   The girls were 13 and 14 years old, Acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid said.

Four Russian men already have been convicted in Russia in the case, authorities said.

Ghana: Rescuing the Child Prostitute, Whose Responsibility?

Wisdom Dzidedi Donkor, Public Agenda, Accra, 5 November 2007

[partially accessed 14 July 2011 - access restricted]

RESEARCH FINDINGS - A 2006 report by World Vision Middle East/Eastern Europe funded by the Canadian government and supported by six United Nations agencies and the International Organization For Child Migration reported that the sexual exploitation of children, child trafficking and sexual violence towards minors is increasing and that Russia is becoming a new destination for child sex tourism. The report adds that some studies claim approximately 20 per cent to 25 per cent of Moscow's sex workers are minors.

RUSSIA: Stopping Sexual Abuse of Children

Cesar Chelala, the Moscow Times, August 09, 2007{EB2171E6-BE74-412A-B547-0B465A9669DC}&DE={ED19DEC4-DF03-4728-A5E5-2695B04BBCDE}

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Russia is now one of the main producers of child pornography in the world, and it registers significant incidences of child prostitution and child trafficking for sexual purposes, according to the Russian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

St. Petersburg and northwestern Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and is aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Child prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in that region.


Child Exploitation

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

[accessed 14 July 2011]

While in the city’s newspaper printing complex editions with unproved accusations and the names of victims were coming off the presses, 12-year-old children, as before, were jumping into shiny foreign cars at the Moscow Station, to emerge half an hour later with bundles of bank notes, and the city’s procuring agencies continued to supply girls and boys to their proven clientele and, as before, video cassettes with child pornography were being sold in the city’s marketplaces. On St. Petersburg’s streets, 11-year-old boys sell their younger sisters to groups of drunken men for a handful of candy; their peers are engaged in oral sex for two tubes of Moment glue.

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 – RUSSIAN FEDERATION – Child prostitution seems to be a bigger problem than trafficking in the Russian Federation, and that once a child is prostituted the mafia controls his or her activities. In Moscow, girls as young as 8 are tricked into going to underground cellars where they are abused by adults or older children. Moreover, the police are reportedly reluctant to get involved. The report states “suspicions were voiced to the Special Rapporteur that this is connected to the fact that prostitution provides criminal organizations with an outlet that is not disruptive to the State and as such the authorities are unwilling to take any action which might unbalance the delicate status quo”. There are also allegations that state officials, parents and caregivers working in children’s institutions are involved in child prostitution networks.

Joint East West Research on Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes in Europe: The Sending Countries [PDF]

Edited by: Muireann O’Briain, Anke van den Borne & Theo Noten, ECPAT Europe Law Enforcement Group, Programme against Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes in Europe, Amsterdam, 2004 -- ISBN: 90-74270-19-0

[accessed 14 July 2011]

[page 35]  According to the experts, most of the clients that buy sexual services from children in foreign countries are either paedophiles or middle aged men. Interviewees were not able to give approximate costs for sexual services. It is thought that it depends on the specific nature of service: sexual contact with a child under 12 years of age is more expensive than with a minor over that age. Boys attract a more specific market and are more expensive than girls. Both men and women purchase child sexual services in Russia. They are often married, and are mainly Russian or from CIS countries. North-West Russia and Saint Petersburg are the most accessible markets for illegal sexual services for clients from western countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Germany, Norway and England. However, Africa, Turkey, Arabian countries, India,  Iran, Japan and the USA are mentioned among the more distant foreign countries. Clients from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also mentioned.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

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

[accessed 14 July 2011]

[63] Steps are currently being taken to strengthen criminal liability for crimes committed against juveniles.  There is no criminal liability for engaging in prostitution; accordingly, juveniles are not held liable.  Individuals who have reached 18 shall be criminally liable for committing sexual intercourse, sodomy or a lesbian act (without the use of force) with a person known not to have attained the age of 14.

Crisis Centres and Violence against Women - Dialogue in the E Barents Region [PDF]

Aino Saarinen & Elaine Carey-Bélanger (eds.), Oulu University Press, 2004

ISBN 951-42-7398-2 / ISSN 1239-8217


[accessed 17 September 2011]


Warping the Future: A look at the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Barrie Youth Ambassadors, Global Perspective programs - 2001

[accessed 14 July 2011]

CASE STUDY #1: RUSSIAN FEDERATION; PAY THE RIGHT PRICE AND GET THE CHILD OF YOUR CHOICE - Would you prefer blond hair with blue eyes, red hair with green eyes or dark hair with brown eyes? Does tiny and petite or tall and slender turn your crank? Wherever the interests of the buyer lay, those of the seller are not far behind. In Eastern Europe, specifically Russia, one of the biggest issues surrounding human rights is the sale of children and illegal adoptions. These adoptions are made under completely false pretences and under corrupt circumstances. Children are treated as if they are worth nothing more than an animal and as a result, they are sold to the highest bidder for the purposes of cheap labor and sex objects.

Child Prostitution with Foreign Involvement in the North-Western Region of Russia [DOC]

Sector of Deviant Behavior and Social Control at the Institute of Sociology at the Saint-Petersburg Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences in April – May 2000

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Children of both genders are involved into prostitution. A part of them provides homosexual services for men and women. The children are drawn into prostitution beginning at age 9. Often they are better developed physically than their age suggests. Rarely they are underdeveloped. Half of them have mental-development deviations. As persons, the children may be characterized with perverse interests, low self-esteem, mercantile behavior, and low school results if they go to school at all. They commonly suffer behavior disorders characterized by runaway, abuse of alcohol and drugs, and suicide attempts. Their sexual life starts on average at the age of 11, often after being raped by an adult family member or by peers of their own age.

The Incidence of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Baltic Sea Region

The Baltic Sea States Support Group, Prime Minister's Office • S-103 33, Stockholm SWEDEN, March 1998

[accessed 14 July 2011]

RUSSIA - Hundreds of children are working in the "sex business" in St Petersburg alone. Juvenile girls are being sold to different south European countries for $12,000 per person. There are 4,909 teenage prostitutes registered in St Petersburg. Some young boys of the age of 13 or 14 are living at the Moscow railway station in St Petersburg. They are being picked up by pimps and brought to a shed where they are to provide sexual services.

Russian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

ECPAT International, Moscow, 1-2 March 2004

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

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Russia is now one of the main producers of child pornography in the world, as new research on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Moscow, St Petersburg and Irkustk reveals. The research also indicates that Russia is seriously affected by all forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), registering alarming incidences of child prostitution and trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

Trafficking from Russia & The CIS: History & Trends

The Angel Coalition

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

[accessed 14 July 2011]

RUSSIA AS A RECEIVING COUNTRY - The most negative aspect of Russia's liberalized economy has been widespread corruption and criminal activity and the failure of government to contain them. One of the most dangerous results of this inaction has been the rapid rise of international criminal trafficking in human beings -- including children - for purposes of prostitution into Russia. In just a single decade, Russia has become one of the main source and receiving countries for the international trafficking in women and children, child prostitution, child sex tourism and child pornography. These forms of violent exploitation are so widespread in Russia that they are a daily threat the lives and well being of tens of thousands of youth and children.

ECPAT: Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes

ECPAT International Newsletter, Issue No : 33  1/December/2000

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

EASTERN EUROPE - Since 1989, the trafficking of children from the Russian Federation has exploded, with their percentage in the international sex market overtaking previous sources of supply in Asia and Latin America.

Hungary and Poland are receiver, sender and transit countries for the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. Romania is a sender and receiver country but Bulgaria is only a sender country. Hungary and Poland receive children from Romania, Ukraine and Russia. The main destinations for children trafficked from and through Poland are Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. Many of the victims are boys. Furthermore, in Poland students voluntarily prostitute themselves in Germany over the weekends in order to earn money.

The Street Children Project in Vladivostok

V Rev Myron Effing, C.J.D., Vladivostok Sunrise, Issue Number 46, July 1, 2002

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

[accessed 14 July 2011]

SOME STORIES ABOUT STREET CHILDREN - The legal age of consent for sexual activity in Russia is 14 years of age. Some street kids pretend to be 14 years old, and so some of the girls work as prostitutes. Fourteen-year-old "Veronica" became pregnant, and turned to our "mama" for help. They went to the Caritas Women's Support Center where Veronica received counseling and prenatal care. Veronica decided to keep her child, and Caritas helped her to find an apartment that she could afford to rent, now that she is old enough to work.  – SCCP

Assessment Mission to St Petersburg

Hugh Griffiths, Médecins du Monde Sweden, February 2001

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

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Street children are constituted in groups of between 10 and 40. They congregate in places known as "tousovkas" . The tousovka is often situated at metro and railway stations. These places provide shelter and warmth in the evenings in a city where the temperature often drops to -25 degrees during winter. The tousovkas also provide the street children with a means of financial and material support.  Children can beg for cigarettes and money; a significant number of the girls appeared to be involved in prostitution, as well as many of the boys.

Kids struggle to survive Moscow streets - Many youths prefer homelessness to cruel treatment in shelters

Douglas Birch, Baltimore Sun, Moscow, January 20, 2002

[accessed 7 October 2012]

The Kursky railway station, just east of central Moscow, is home to about 150 children who have drifted here from all over the former Soviet empire. By day, they roam the city, begging in subways and stealing what they can from shops. At night, they return to the station. It is a filthy, disease-ridden and violent home. Some of the boys and girls work as prostitutes. Some have contracted hepatitis or HIV. After a day of begging, some wander holding bags containing glue over their mouths to get high. Others discreetly inhale the fumes under their coats, hiking their collars.

Children face street curfew in Moscow

Michael Binyon, The Times (UK), Moscow, January 24, 2002

[accessed 14 July 2011]

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

Moscow is considering a curfew on all children aged under 16 as a way of dealing with the 50,000 homeless children roaming the capital’s streets, many of whom are criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts by the age of 11.

Finnish Court Imposes Heavy Fine on Man Using Services of Child Prostitutes in Russia

Helsingin Sanomat, 7 December 2001

[accessed 14 July 2011]

The district court in the southeastern coastal city of Hamina ordered a 42-year-old Finnish man to pay a fine of more than FIM 10,000 (EUR 1,682) for buying sexual services from two underage girls in the Russian city of Vyborg.

Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation: The Case of the Russian Federation [PDF]

Prepared for the International Organization for Migration IOM by Prof. Donna M. Hughes, June 2002

[accessed 20 December 2010]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - For others, such as the new groups of street children and orphans which did not exist in Russia ten years ago, they are recruited at an early age, virtually sold into slavery, and may never know another way of life. This is true for countless young Russian girls and boys, some as young as 12 years of age, who may later become a part of criminal syndicates themselves and perpetuate this phenomenon. In this way, more and more people without options are lured into sub-human and degrading conditions, often for the rest of their lives.  htsccp




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

ECPAT International, 2006

[accessed 14 July 2011]

The Ministry of Interior estimates that up to 17,000 children are exploited in prostitution in the country, but the actual number is believed to be much higher. In Moscow alone, experts reckon that between 20,000 and 30,000 children may be victimised through prostitution, some raising this figure as high as 50,000.

Sexual exploitation of minors occurs in all regions in Russia, but more accurate data and research are only available on the situation in the northwest, especially in St. Petersburg, and in central Russia, particularly in Moscow. Engaging minors with learning difficulties or from rural areas or provincial towns in the sex industry is a growing trend. In Moscow, the prostitution of children is highly organised and mainly controlled by criminal gangs, facilitated by corruption on the part of law enforcers. Agents who recruit girls work in educational establishments, employment services, cafés, railway stations and marketplaces, and entice minors with promises of good jobs and ‘the high life’. Most of the child victims in the city live on the street either all or most of the time. In St. Petersburg, child prostitution is not controlled by criminal organisations, although some pimps do operate, and sometimes even children are used as pimps. In the northern region, a substantial number of children become victims of commercial sexual exploitation through their parents, who are often involved in prostitution themselves and involve their children directly or sell them to pimps or traffickers; children as young as eight are sexually exploited, and advertisements explicitly seek girls to engage in work of a sexual nature.

The root causes for the involvement of children in commercial sexual exploitation in Russia are poverty, family conflicts, alcoholism, drug abuse in the home, violence, neglect and poor living and housing conditions. In the north, most child victims are vagrants (due to the same causes), orphans or have no parental care. Their involvement in prostitution is also often linked to a dependency on alcohol and/or drugs.

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 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 - Estimates of the number of street children range from 100,000 to 150,000, with possibly 4 million additional children at risk of living on the streets. Homeless children often receive no education, are more susceptible to substance abuse, and frequently engaged in criminal activities, including prostitution, to survive. Without educational opportunities or family support, youth form or join gangs or groups and turn to crime. In 2004, seven persons were sentenced for acts involving the recruitment and sexual exploitation of children.

Children work in informal retail services, sell goods on the street, wash cars, make deliveries, collect trash and beg. Children are trafficked globally for sexual exploitation from Russia and are trafficked internally generally from rural to urban areas. There were reports of kidnapped or purchased children being trafficked for sexual exploitation, child pornography, or harvesting of body parts. There are confirmed cases of sex trafficking of children and child sex tourism in Russia, a major producer and distributor of child pornography over the internet.

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 – Homeless children often engaged in criminal activities, received no education, and were vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse. Some young girls on the streets turned to, or were forced into, prostitution to survive.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] Accepted social prohibitions against employment of children and the availability of adult workers at low wages generally prevented widespread abuse of child labor. Nonetheless, children working and living on the streets remained a problem. Parents often used their children to lend credence to their poverty when begging or had them beg. Homeless children were at heightened risk for exploitation in prostitution or criminal activities.

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