Torture in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                

Oriental Republic of Uruguay

Uruguay's economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated work force, and high levels of social spending. After averaging growth of 5% annually during 1996-98, in 1999-2002 the economy suffered a major downturn, stemming largely from the spillover effects of the economic problems of its large neighbors, Argentina and Brazil.

Real GDP fell in four years by nearly 20%, with 2002 the worst year. The unemployment rate rose, inflation surged, and the burden of external debt doubled. Financial assistance from the IMF helped stem the damage. Uruguay restructured its external debt in 2003 without asking creditors to accept a reduction on the principal. Economic growth for Uruguay resumed, and averaged 8% annually during the period 2004-08.  [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 Uruguay.  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.


Sex Exploitation a Growing Problem

Raul Ronzoni, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Montevideo, 14 April 1999

[accessed 8 August 2011]

“The money that Yamila took in daily was generally the only thing sustaining the family”, her mother said when a court prosecuted her for the crime of inherent omission of the duties of parental authority.  The mother denied that she forced her daughter into prostitution.


*** ARCHIVES ***

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 7 January 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - In 2002, the state government of Maldonado reported that sex tourism and child prostitution had increased in a number of locations in the state.  There are also reports of child prostitution in rural areas with high unemployment rates..  Several types of prostitution have been reported, including of very poor and homeless children around factories and in slums, in downtown bars and pubs, on the street, and through pimps.

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 7 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - According to police sources, commercial sexual exploitation of women and children occurred mostly in the states bordering Brazil. There also was concern about possible prostitution rings exploiting children in Montevideo and the resort areas of Punta del Este and Maldonado, where taxi drivers or hotel staff may be involved. There were isolated reports of prostitution by boys. Anecdotal evidence indicated that, in recent years, commercial sexual exploitation of children through prostitution has increased, and minors often engaged in prostitution alongside adults. Police sources indicated that traffickers often perpetrated other trans-border crime such as drug smuggling. Children's rights NGOs received reports that minors resorted to prostitution to survive or to assist their families. INAU estimated that 90 percent of minors engaged in prostitution did so to assist their families who allowed or actively promoted the activity.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 11 October 1996

[accessed 7 January 2011]

[6] The Committee is concerned at the insufficient measures adopted to harmonize national legislation with the principles and provisions of the Convention.

[7] The Committee, while recognizing the efforts undertaken by the authorities in the collection of data, is concerned at the insufficient measures adopted to collect disaggregated data on the situation of all children, particularly those belonging to the most disadvantaged groups.

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 – URUGUAY – Over the last year no progress has been made in implementing the Stockholm Agenda for Action in Uruguay. There have been no attempts to develop a national plan of action and the Children’s Code in force still dates back to 1934. Despite a consensus by both NGOs and the government of the urgent need to change the legislation so that it conforms with the norms of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the introduction of a new text to amend the Code continues to be postponed.

The National Institute for Minors (Instituto Nacional del Menor) has created a commission to address CSEC. At the time of publication, the commission had only been formed for a month. The fact that a commission had been formed indicates that the Uruguayan government is finally taking a step, albeit an initial one, to address the problem.

Trafficking In Persons Report - 2004

US Embassy, Montevideo Uruguay, 2004

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

[accessed 8 August 2011]

[18.C] The number of minors engaged in prostitution has increased in the past year according to AMEPU, Casa de los Ninos, IIN and INAME. The increase is attributed to the sustained economic problems in the country, a dwindling middle class and a growing number of families that are subsisting in poverty. The result is a growing acceptance by poor families of child prostitution as a source of income.

La Casa de los Niños

Casa de los Niños

[accessed 8 August 2011]

La Casa de los Niños focuses on two kinds of activities. The first is to develop programs to treat and rehabilitate victims of commercial and non-commercial sexual exploitation of children.  The second type of activity is the continuous training of professionals from all fields related to this problem (police, judicial system, education system, health care system) and social operators from different intervention levels in the detection of CSEC.

Regional Governmental Congress on Sexual Exploitation of Children  [PDF]

Martín Marzano Luissi, President National Children’s Institute, Uruguay and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents

[accessed 19 November 2016]

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 - Uruguay",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Uruguay]  [other countries]