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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Bolivarian Republic of


Venezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 90% of export earnings, about 50% of the federal budget revenues, and around 30% of GDP.

Fueled by high oil prices, record government spending helped to boost GDP by about 9% in 2006, 8% in 2007, and nearly 6% in 2008. This spending, combined with recent minimum wage hikes and improved access to domestic credit, has created a consumption boom but has come at the cost of higher inflation - roughly 20% in 2007 and more than 30% in 2008. Imports also have jumped significantly.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Venezuela

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


Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Between Venezuela and Ecuador

Survivors' Rights International SRI, July 17, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 15 August 2011]

BACKGROUND - Children from Ecuador are trafficked into Venezuela to serve as prostitutes and to work as street vendors and housemaids.  They usually have been kidnapped, sold by their parents, or deceived by false employment opportunities.  Although first time exploitation through prostitution occurs on average at age 12, children as young as 7 are sexually exploited as well.  Of the 40,000 sexually exploited children in Venezuela, 78% are girls between 8 and 17.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Regional Overview: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Latin America [PDF]

ECPAT International, November 2014

[accessed 10 September 2020]

Maps sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT), online child sexual exploitation (OCSE), trafficking of children for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, and child early and forced marriage (CEFM). Other topics include social inequality, gender discrimination, gangs and armed conflicts, and child poverty.

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 10 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - By law sexual relations with a minor younger than 13, with an “especially vulnerable” person, or with a minor younger than 16 when the perpetrator is a relative or guardian, are punishable with a mandatory sentence of 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment. The law prohibits the forced prostitution and corruption of minors. Penalties range from 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment in cases of forced labor and some forms of sex trafficking of women and girls. The law requires a demonstration of force, fraud, or coercion to constitute child sex trafficking. The law prohibits the production and sale of child pornography and establishes penalties of 16 to 20 years’ imprisonment.

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 January 2011]

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 - Children are also involved in begging, petty theft on the streets, prostitution, and drug trafficking. Venezuela is a destination, transit, and source country for children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked internally for labor and sexual exploitation.

CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - The National Institute for Minors has made efforts to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children by establishing Local Social Protection networks for children and adolescents who are at high risk. These networks are comprised of public and private institutions and organizations that contribute toward the development of a coordinated local plan in regions of the country where children are most vulnerable.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 8 October 1999

[accessed 16 January 2011]

[32] The Committee expresses its concern at the absence of data and of a comprehensive study on the issue of sexual commercial exploitation and sexual abuse of children, at the lack of a national plan of action to address this issue and at the inadequacy of the State party's legislation to deal with it.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

21 May 2001,CESCR,CONCOBSERVATIONS,VEN,3cc7f9e86,0.html

[accessed 26 August 2011]

[16] The Committee is alarmed about the high rate of domestic violence and the extent of child prostitution and trafficking in children, and regrets the lack of available statistics on the number of street children. The Committee is deeply concerned about the extent of the sex trade involving children and the inability of the State party to address these issues.

[27] The Committee urges the State party to indicate, in its next periodic report, the problem of the measures it has undertaken to address the problem of street children and, in particular, the problem of their sexual exploitation.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

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

[accessed 15 August 2011]

[78] The sale, trafficking and use of children in prostitution and pornography are punishable under the Statutory Law for the Protection of Children and Adolescents.  Those who promote, benefit from, or assist in the exploitation of children are criminally liable and may receive prison sentences of 2 to 8 years. Child victims do not incur criminal liability.

Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Sixty-seventh session, 2-19 August 2005

[accessed 15 August 2011]

[19] The Committee notes with concern ……. More particularly, in the centers of illegal gold prospecting, there is evidence that indigenous children and adolescents are subjected to labor exploitation and the worst forms of child labor, including servitude and slavery, child prostitution, trafficking and sale.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Report 2005 - Venezuela

Global March Against Child Labour, 2005

[accessed 13 September 2012]

CHILD PROSTITUTION AND PORNOGRAPHY - NATIONAL STATISTICS - 40,000 Venezuelan children aged between 8 and 17 years are affected by prostitution, 22% of these are male. ("Venezuela losing war against sexual exploitation of children", ECPAT Bulletin, October 1996).

Written statement submitted by Human Rights Advocates - a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-fourth session, 5 March 1998

[accessed 15 August 2011]

[3] Thousands of Ecuadorian children are smuggled through Colombia and brought into Venezuela to work in virtual slavery conditions as prostitutes. The problem is attributed to corruption among Ecuadorian and Venezuelan officials, who are accused by many as covering-up. - Estrella Gutierrez, Rights: child traffic in Venezuela. Tip of the iceberg, International Press Service IPS, 11 Jan 1998




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]

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] The law protects children from exploitation in the workplace. The Ministry of Labor and the National Institute for Minors enforced child labor policies effectively in the formal sector of the economy but less so in the informal sector. The Foundation for Training in the Investigation of Human Resources estimated in 2004 that there were 1.6 million children working in various sectors of the labor market, including 206 thousand involved in prostitution, panhandling, or drug trafficking.

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