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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

The United Kingdom (UK)

The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is one of the quintet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005; energy industries now contribute about 4% to GDP. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: UK

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the United Kingdom.  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

Crime Stoppers
Country code: 44-



UK A Hub For European Child Prostitution

Ingrid Bazinet, South African Press Association, Sapa-AFP, London, December 5 2001

[accessed 4 August 2011]

Britain has become a hub of a growing trade in children.  They come mainly from west Africa but increasingly from eastern and central Europe too.  Their final destinations are anywhere there is a demand for child prostitutes.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Runaways - Where To Turn For Help Before You Are Homeless

Rebeccas Community -- This is for anyone aged up to 13 years old who is thinking about running away

[accessed 4 August 2011]

Here are the best phone numbers to call …They are Confidential - which means they won't tell anyone about your call unless you want them to talk to somebody for you, or you are in danger.  They are open 24 Hours - it doesn't matter what time you call  In the UK, call 0800 1111

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

Ashley Feasley, ECPAT International, 2013

[accessed 9 September 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in the United Kingdom. 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 9 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - Ashley Feasley The penalties for sexual offenses against children and the commercial sexual exploitation of children range up to life imprisonment. Authorities enforced the law. The minimum age of consensual sex in the UK is 16. The law prohibits child pornography in all parts of the UK.

NSPCC opens first UK advice line to help combat child trafficking - 0800 107 7057

Press Release, 8 October 2007

[accessed 2 January 2011]

The NSPCC today (8 October 2007) launches the first advice and information line to protect children trafficked to the UK for sexual exploitation, forced labour, drugs transport, benefit fraud, and other crimes.  The NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice and Information Line (CTAIL) on 0800 107 7057 will help people working with children, such as immigration officers, the police, social workers, teachers, and health workers, to better identify and protect child victims. It will also shed light on the scale of child trafficking in the UK.

“Identifying trafficked children can be very difficult, even for a professional working in social services or immigration. These children are incredibly vulnerable – they might be regularly beaten, raped, denied food and basic comforts, and have no access to healthcare or an education.  Trafficked children have often lost their trust in adults because of the abuse they have suffered. They are afraid to ask for help for fear of retaliation from their trafficker or being treated as criminals by the UK authorities. They may also be confused about what has happened to them, or may not speak any English.  The NSPCC’s new trafficking advice line will help break down these barriers. Its success will depend on adults working with children being vigilant, calling us when they need to know what to do, and intervening to help protect the victims of child trafficking.”

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 6 October 2000

[accessed 2 January 2011]

[53] The Committee notes with concern the lack of information concerning the situation of commercial sexual exploitation of children, including prostitution and pornography. The Committee also notes that lack of programs for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children victims of such abuse and exploitation, particularly in Bermuda and some of the Caribbean Territories, where there is apparent cause for concern.

Sexual Slavery in Britain and Its PC Enablers

David J. Rusin, Islamist Watch Blog, Feb 28, 2011

[accessed 28 February 2011]

Some branded Straw a bigot, but sexual grooming by UK gangs does exhibit a clear cultural profile. University College London investigators "identified 17 court prosecutions since 1997, 14 of them in the past three years, involving the on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16 by groups of men," the Daily Mail summarizes. "Three of the 56 [found guilty] were white; 53 were Asian. Of those, 50 were Muslim and a majority were members of the British Pakistani community."

Schoolgirl earned £14,000 as a prostitute

Rod Minchin, Press Association, 26 February 2009

[accessed 4 August 2011]

A schoolgirl earned about £14,000 in two months by working as a prostitute.   The 15-year-old, who cannot be named, is understood to have earned more than £1,700 every weekend by working for an escort agency in Newcastle.   The teenager's lucrative career ended after a teacher found her bag at school and found condoms, lubricant and details of the agency she worked for.   The school, in South Shields, contacted police who took the teenager home and the property was searched.

Michele Elliott, from Kidscape, said: "Child prostitution is a hidden problem that nobody wants to talk about.   "The reality is that there is a lot of children out there doing what this child did."

Hero's portrait goes under hammer

The News [], 12 February 2009

[accessed 4 August 2011]

In 1885, while editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, Stead published a series of articles against child prostitution, entitled The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon.   To prove child prostitution was rife, he bought 13 year-old Eliza Armstrong from her family for £5.   As a result, he was jailed for three months but not before the government introduced the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, which raised the age of consent to 16 and which Stead's expose was credited with inspiring.

Schoolgirls lured into prostitution, warns MP

Hannah Wooderson,, 20th January 2009

[accessed 4 August 2011]

[accessed 16 November 2016]

The grooming of schoolgirls as young as 12 into prostitution by gangs of men is a growing national problem, a senior MP warned today.

He warned the problem was being made worse by the use of the "sophisticated techniques" and new technology.   He said young men were initially targeting girls at school and acting as their boyfriends before passing them on to older men who would become their pimps.

The MP said he knew of cases in his Huddersfield constituency where girls first met young men, perhaps driving "flash cars" outside school who made the initial contact.   They then took them out and introduced them to drink and drugs before embarking on a sexual relationship.   The girl would believe they were with their first boyfriend but before long, older men would then take over, forcing them to have sex and selling them to others.

Baby P relative implicated in child sex ring

Eileen Fairweather, The Sunday Times, December 14, 2008

[accessed 4 August 2011]

According to the report the child was involved with three pimps suspected of being involved in child abuse. These men telephoned or called at the children’s homes and persuaded him with money, drugs and threats to bring other children to them.   The disclosure raises further questions about the failure of Haringey council to take Baby P into care. Care experts say routine background checks on the family would have uncovered the history of abuse in the family and should have raised serious and immediate concerns.   Liz Davies, the former Islington social worker who blew the whistle on the 1990s scandal, said the child was like a “Pied Piper” who led other children into abuse. “But he was also a victim himself, who begged for help,” she said.

'Sex slavery' gang jailed in child prostitution case

Rachel Williams and agencies,, 4 November 2008

[accessed 2 January 2011]

A gang of human traffickers, brothel keepers and pimps received substantial jail terms yesterday over the ordeal of a teenage virgin tricked into travelling to the UK for a life of sexual "slavery".

Their Slovakian victim had cried in the dock as she described spending nearly a year-and-a-half working as a prostitute after being lured to Britain at the age of 16 with the promise of a job in a pub. She told of being sold on from owner to owner, raped by one who was never identified, beaten and threatened. htcp

Racial Tension, and Sexual Exploitation

From the desk of A. Millar,, 2008-03-30

[accessed 4 August 2011]

However, according to the BBC’s investigative reporting program Panorama many British girls (some as young as 12) are “groomed” for prostitution by criminal gangs with networks that extend across the country. Such girls are typically not the out-of-control youths lacking parental guidance, such as we might assume. They are merely teenagers, easily manipulated and easily controlled by ruthless, older men. “Grooming” consists of an emotionally and mentally paralyzing mix of flattery and gifts from boys only slightly older than their victims, introductions to older men, drink, drugs, sexual abuse, and rape. According to Jane, who talked on Panorama about being forced into prostitution at the age of 13

Helping children turn life around

Paul McMillan, Evening Chronicle, Dec 10 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

It follows research by Barnardo’s in 2005 which revealed that 28 children and young people were being sexually exploited through prostitution in Newcastle, with another 136 being at significant risk of being involved. The Children’s Society also found that, on average, 436 under-16s in Newcastle run away every year.

Scarpa opened its doors in October and hopes to have made contact with 40 young runaways and 15 young people who have been sexually exploited in its first six months.

National police campaign to target sex trafficking

Matthew Weaver and agencies, The Guardian, 3 October 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

The government estimates that up to 4,000 women and girls are forced into prostitution after being trafficked from abroad.  Last year Pentameter rescued 88 women and girls, including some as young as 14, who had been forced into the sex industry.

The Child Sex Scandal On The Streets Of Scotland

Neil Mackay, The Herald Scotland, 4 Aug 2007

[accessed 4 August 2011]

A child prostitution ring which is sexually exploiting immigrant Roma children as young as nine is operating in Glasgow, the Sunday Herald can reveal. Police have been running undercover surveillance operations in empty homes and unmarked cars in the Govanhill area in the southside of Glasgow for months in the hope of catching those behind the ring and the men paying to have sex with children.

Street children given a new life

July 18, 2007

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 August 2011]

ANTOINE’S STORY - Hardcore hoodie Antoine is 19 and has spent most of his life on the streets. He has sold drugs and worked as a male prostitute to survive. When you read what the young Londoner – now studying to be a barrister – has endured, you may understand why. …

CHELSEA’S STORY - Chelsea, 17, started selling crack when she was 11 but with the help of tuition from Kids Co is now due to take her GCSEs. …

Woman Who Pimped Underage Girls Jailed

[Last access date unavailable]

A female Fagin, who lured girls as young as 12 into prostitution by getting them hooked on crack, was jailed for ten years today (Wed).  Fiona Walsh - known as Foxy - plied the girls with highly addictive drug and then forced them to have sex with 'punters' in alleyways and hotel rooms to fund their addiction.  Mother-of-two Walsh met the victims through a mutual friend and gained their trust by taking them on shopping trips and buying them designer clothes and handbags.

Sex traffic: Danielle was 15 when she was sold into slavery in the UK

Sophie Goodchild and Kurt Barling, The Independent, 25 February 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Danielle was excited at the prospect of leaving her home in Lithuania for a summer job in Britain at the age of 15. The work had been arranged through a friend who was unable to join Danielle until later and so put her in touch with a man who would take her to London.

Danielle suspected nothing until the stranger took her passport once they passed through customs and left her with two Albanians and a Lithuanian woman. It turned out that she had been sold for £3,500. The "holiday job" was working in a brothel in Birmingham.

Child prostitution: the horrors of selling sex

[Last access date unavailable]

One month before her 14th birthday Aliyah Ismail was found dead in a grubby flat in Camden Town, London, in her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend's bed. She had taken twice the amount of methadone needed to kill her and had been working as a prostitute in nearby King's Cross.

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? - Children end up as prostitutes as the result of a complex process involving manipulation, violence, sexual abuse, drugs, alcohol and poverty. Barnardo's gives an example of how it could happen: A girl, who has run away from home or is being abused at home, meets a young man, probably aged between 18 and 25. He gives her the love and affection she is missing. He pretends to be her boyfriend, impressing her with his maturity and lifestyle, his money and car. She falls in love with him and they start to have sex.  Then he becomes possessive and demands proof of the girl's love. Often this includes breaking off with friends and family. If she is still living with her parents he may help her put herself into care. Soon he controls her life – what she wears, what she eats, where she goes. He becomes violent and she becomes frightened, but she still hopes that one more proof of her love will restore their relationship. Once the man totally dominates her he demands she has sex with one of his 'friends', and then with other men. He uses violence and threats to control her. He has now become not her boyfriend but her pimp.

Child prostitution crisis

Angus Stickler, BBC News, 29 July, 2001

[accessed 5 August 2011]

According to both the police and child care agencies, hundreds of children around Britain are being lured into the world of paid-sex. They admit they are unable to keep track of the number of children involved, but both warn that sophisticated networks involving children of both sexes are being set up by ruthless criminals. In Rotherham alone for example, 80 girls are said to be working as prostitutes. And experts say prostitution is rife in every major town and city.

DRUG ABUSE - It has been described as a revolving door situation - the police hand them over to social services, but within hours they are often back on the street.  Many are addicted to crack cocaine and they will do anything to feed their habit.

Foreign prostitutes, 12, for sale in Scotland

Kate Foster, The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 24 September 2006

[accessed 5 August 2011]

McCormack said: "We can see the trend is changing. We have intelligence that Chinese and Slovakian girls from the age of 12 are being prostituted in the south side of Glasgow.  "We have heard of a 12-year-old girl being prostituted for £10. Others cost £20-£30. They are good looking. Half of the local prostitutes are junkies charging £60. The punters are anyone - people coming out of pubs are offered girls. There is a huge child prostitution issue."

McCormack said they had intelligence Glasgow was being used as a dumping ground for trafficked girls. Most were sold in London airports and put into London brothels, he said. But they were moved on when the police started investigating. "The Albanians have contacts in Scotland through the Albanian community. Glasgow is just a place they come to," he said.  McCormack added: "There is evidence that children from Slovakia are coming through the country with no problems, because there's no visa needed. The traffickers can make millions from girls in brothels.”

Caught in traffic

Kate Foster with additional reporting by Arthur MacMillan, Scotland On Sunday, 24 September 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

The situation is chilling - police and council officials openly admit they are not yet in a position to be sure of the scale of the problem in Scotland - but they have seen enough to know that foreign girls as young as 12 are being prostituted north of the Border. They warn that Glasgow could soon have a human trafficking problem to rival that of London and Birmingham.

The first signs of Scotland's trafficking problem emerged earlier this year when a 14-year-old African girl in Dumfries was one of six young females rescued from brothels as part of Operation Pentameter, a nationwide crackdown. The African teenager is thought to have been thrown out of the brothel and left homeless.

What sickens those trying to tackle the problem most is the age of the girls involved. Teenagers under the age of 16 are, police are now certain, being held captive in private flats, and their pimps are seeking punters from the local population. This is something which sickens those trying to tackle the problem.

Child sex tourists exploit legal loopholes in Europe

Denis Campbell, The Observer, 9 April 2006

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Ministers are preparing tough new measures against sex tourism to close legal loopholes which British paedophiles are exploiting in order to abuse children abroad.

The crackdown is intended to combat the growing trend of sexual predators travelling to parts of Europe to prey on young people, rather than established centres of child prostitution such as south east Asia, because they stand less chance of getting caught in Europe.

Action against sex predators

Caroline Innes, The Lancashire Telegraph, 31st July 2006

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Vulnerable children are to be given greater protection from predatory men thanks to a new initiative set up in the wake of the Lancashire Telegraph's Keep Them Safe campaign.

The new Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) aims to ensure that agencies and children's services work closely together to safeguard any child from falling victim to child prostitution.

Child Trafficking in the U.K.

Ambrose Musiyiwa (amusiyiwa), OhmyNews, 2006-07-25

[accessed 3 January 2011]

She was a teenage orphan living on the streets of Nairobi when a man approached her and promised her work in the United Kingdom. He told her she would be working as a house girl.

True to his word, her "savior" brought her into the U.K. -- but instead of placing her with a family the man took her to a brothel, where she was systematically raped, beaten, and forced to work as a prostitute.

Three months later, when the 16-year-old Kenyan girl became pregnant, she was forced to continue sleeping with a succession of men until she was almost due to give birth. The heavily pregnant teenager was then removed from the brothel, driven out of the town where she had been held, and dumped many miles away on the streets of Sheffield.

Parents need not be alone

The Lancashire Telegraph, LET newsdesk, 21st July 2006

[accessed 5 August 2011]

A support group for the parents of sexually exploited children is to be launched by a mother whose daughter was groomed into child prostitution.

Jean (not her real name) said more and more parents needed help and advice as the number of girls aged between 12 and 16 being lured into sexual exploitation by groups of predominantly Asian men had risen to around 100 in East Lancashire.

Help plea over child prostitution

BBC News, 14 June 2006

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Children's charity Barnardo's has called for a network of services to help children who have been sexually exploited or groomed for prostitution.

It identified several risk factors associated with sexual exploitation, including poor relationships with parents or carers, going missing, disengagement from education and a lack of awareness of rights.

Six jailed for sex acts with girl

BBC News, 28 February 2006

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Six men have been jailed for a total of more than 17 years for sexual offences involving a girl aged 13.  They took part in sex acts with the girl on beaches, in a car and in a flat after they were introduced to her.

Men who pay for sex are 'as bad as child abusers'

Gaby Hinsliff, political editor, The Observer, 15 January 2006

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Men who pay for sex are as bad as child abusers, a senior government minister warned today, as she unveiled radical plans to protect prostitutes by targeting their clients. Under the proposals, schoolgirls will be taught about the dangers of selling sex, amid evidence that more than half of streetwalkers start out as teenagers.

Children's Society: Prostitution proposals welcome

17 Jan 2006

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

[accessed 5 August 2011]

The Children's Society has welcomed the government's proposals outlined in today's prostitution strategy.  "A clear focus on tackling and preventing the abuse of teenagers caught up in prostitution is important not only for protecting children today, but also for reducing the scale of the problem in years to come," said policy director Kathy Evans.

Sex-trade children flown to region

Paul Jeeves, Yorkshire Post, 10 November 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

[accessed 16 November 2016]

Global crime syndicates have begun to use Yorkshire airports to evade detection to bring child prostitutes into the country in their multi-billion pound trade in human misery.
The criminal gangs behind the smuggling rings, which stretch as far afield as Africa, the Far East and across Europe, have switched their focus to smaller airports as they attempt to escape the attention of the authorities.

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 – UNITED KINGDOM – The Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed its concern at the lack of information on the situation of CSEC in the UK, and on the lack of programs for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of CSEC victims.

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 August 2011]

[75] The United Kingdom is carrying out a review of legislation concerning sexual offences with specific proposals to tackle the involvement of children in prostitution and pornography.  There is currently no specific law criminalizing the trafficking of human beings, but the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill introduces a new offence of trafficking for the purposes of controlling someone in prostitution.  Concerning prostitution, the pimp, client, or person benefiting from the prostitution is criminally liable, and it is a criminal offence to solicit for the purpose of prostitution.  Since May 2000, the Government has instructed that although children soliciting for prostitution are criminally liable, in practice they are to be treated as victims of exploitation and abuse.  All steps are taken to divert them away from prostitution without recourse to the criminal justice system.

Prostitute at only 11

Craig Thompson, The Evening Chronicle, Apr 5 2005

[accessed 12 Aug  2013]

Alarming figures reveal there are 26 children and young people currently being exploited through prostitution in the city.  And a further 121 are at significant risk of becoming involved in the seedy underworld.  Fears are growing that the problem could be much wider, with many youngsters who are being abused, or have been victims in the past, too frightened to come forward.

NI children 'used as prostitutes'

Shane Glynn, BBC News, 20 September, 2004

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Children as young as 13 are being used as prostitutes in Northern Ireland, childcare specialists have told the BBC.  According to experts, while paramilitaries are involved, families have also been selling their own children for sex.  A BBC Newsline investigation has unearthed a chilling picture of what is going on in towns, cities and country areas across Northern Ireland.

Migration and Development: How to make migration work for poverty reduction [PDF]

House of Commons International Development Committee, First Special Report of Session 2004–05, HC 163, 20 December 2004

[accessed 5 August 2011]

[14] The UK Government and governments of other developed countries, need to address the issue of sex tourism which fuels the exploitation of women and child in south-east Asia particularly, and ensure that existing legislation protecting the rights of migrant workers is vigorously enforced. (Paragraph 53)

The UK Government is committed to eradicating the sexual exploitation of children, including where British citizens go abroad to abuse children. The Government has put in place comprehensive legislation to deal with this problem.

Life Sentence Part Of New Child Prostitution Laws

Alan Travis, home affairs editor, The Guardian, 19 November 2002

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Any adult caught paying for sex from a child under the age of 18 will face prosecution and a severe penalty - up to life imprisonment, under a tightening of the prostitution laws.  In addition, people who sexually exploit children for their own gain - irrespective of whether they participate in any sexual activity with the child - are to be held responsible for that abuse.

Shock Posters Break Taboo To Fight Child Prostitution

Tracy McVeigh and Ben Cooper, The Observer, 15 September 2002

[accessed 5 August 2011]

One poster shows a little girl sitting on a sofa, her face grotesquely old and worn.  Behind her a man runs his fingers through her hair.  On another poster, a young boy is shown standing in a public toilet in front of an undressing man.  The controversial images are part of a campaign by Barnardo's to highlight the alarming rise in the number of children being lured into prostitution.

Child Prostitution Plea From Charity

BBC News, 16 September, 2002

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Young boys and girls involved in prostitution should be recognized as victims of child abuse, rather than criminals, according to Barnardo's Scotland.  In Scotland, the number of children in prostitution may be as many as 300.

Children groomed for sex trafficking

Madeleine Brindley, WalesOnline, Nov 9 2004

[accessed 20 June 2013]

Children in Wales are being enslaved into a sordid life of sexual exploitation and prostitution, experts warned today.  Adults are grooming and trafficking vulnerable children as young as 12 from Welsh care homes to work in massage parlours throughout South Wales.  The shocking trade is being fuelled by the internet, putting adults intent on fulfilling their depraved sexual desires and fantasies in physical contact with these exploited young children.

Child sex tourism

One Big Village, a community education initiative of World Vision Australia,  4th October, 2004

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

[accessed 18 September 2011]

CHILD SEX TOURISM - Description: than 250,000 sex tourists visit Asia each year, with 25 percent coming from the United States, 16 percent from Germany and 13 percent from both Australia and the United Kingdom.

Campaign To End Child Prostitution

BBC News, July 16, 1998

[accessed 5 August 2011]

Samantha was just 14 when she started working as a prostitute.  Her story is typical of many of the children who are forced to work in this world.  Sara Swann, who runs a Barnardo's project working with young prostitutes in Bradford, says they have seen girls as young as 12 and 13 working as prostitutes.

Preying On Children - The Number Of Kids Trafficked Into Virtual Slavery In Europe Is On The Rise

Newsweek Magazine, Nov 16, 2003

[accessed 5 August 2011]

[accessed 16 November 2016]

Over pasta in a Bloomsbury pizzeria, "Maria" could pass for any urbane 21-year-old Londoner. She's not. The Macedonia-born Maria was orphaned at 9, then sent to stay with a family whose 19-year-old son, "Nuri," began sleeping with her. He bought her a new dress and a doll, and then trafficked her through southern Europe to what was billed simply as "a better life" in Italy. On arrival, Nuri told Maria they needed money. "That's all right," she responded. "I can make lace." But within a day of her arrival Maria, then 10, was on the streets of Milan. For the next couple of years she was sold as a virgin. "I used to put a chicken liver inside me," she says. "Old prostitute's trick." At 15 she accompanied Nuri and eight other pimps and their child prostitutes and drove to England. She spent the next few years working the length of the British Isles, servicing clients 18 hours a day, seven days a week. "Whatever they wanted they got," she says.

Runaway Children To Get Help

BBC News, 22 March, 2001

[accessed 4 August 2011]

Every year 77,000 British children under 16 run away from home for at least one night.  Many flee physical or mental abuse at home, and a quarter end up sleeping on the streets with some surviving through begging, stealing, drug dealing and prostitution.

The consultation report was launched on Thursday by Tony Blair, who said it was important to find out why so many children run away and why so many are reluctant to return home again.




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

ECPAT International, 2006

[accessed 4 August 2011]

Much of the available information on the prostitution of children comes from smallscale studies, which suggest that it has increased in recent years. It has been estimated that up to 5,000 young people may be involved at a time, with four times more girls than boys. Research commissioned by the Department of Health in 2002 showed that children are known to suffer from this form of abuse in 111 of the 146 Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) districts - an average of 19 girls and 3 boys in each area (this refers to the ACPCs in England and Wales only). A recent study by the NGO Barnardo’s showed that many young people are first drawn into ‘informal exploitation’, where sex is exchanged for drugs or a place to stay, and that many young women become involved in relationships with an older man, who grooms them for more formal prostitution.

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 11 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Some children were subjected to forced labor or trafficked into the country for sexual exploitation (see section 5, Trafficking). In July the children's charity, Bernardo's, estimated that at least one thousand children were sexually exploited in London annually.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The law prohibits trafficking in persons for the purposes of prostitution, sexual exploitation, or forced labor. The law criminalizes trafficking offenses by citizens and residents, whether committed domestically or abroad, and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years' imprisonment. The law also prohibits such related acts as keeping a brothel and causing, inciting, or controlling prostitution for gain. There were severe penalties for such offenses as causing, inciting, controlling, arranging, or facilitating the prostitution of a child. The law also criminalizes paying for sexual services of a child.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution – United Kingdom (UK)",, [accessed <date>]