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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Republic of Yemen

Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, reported average annual growth in the range of 3-4% from 2000 through 2007.

Yemen's economic fortunes depend mostly on declining oil resources, but the country is trying to diversify its earnings. In 2006 Yemen began an economic reform program designed to bolster non-oil sectors of the economy and foreign investment.  [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 Yemen.  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.


Poor Yemeni girls face job risks

Yemen Times, May 15, 2008

[Last access date unavailable]

CHILD PROSTITUTION IN ADEN - Poverty, illiteracy and family problems are the foremost reasons for prostitution in Aden, according to the study, which reported that 33 percent of Adeni girls between the ages of 13-16 who were surveyed entered this business to earn a living, said Najeba Abdulghani, a social researcher who worked on the study.  Many of the hotels in Aden have nightclubs that employ girls for this purpose, along with brothels in the area. Seventy percent of the girls who work in prostitution are runaways from other governorates who left their homes to escape early marriages, ill-treatment from their parents or husbands, or because of poverty.

Another reason some girls are forced into prostitution is the phenomenon of “tourism marriages” and subsequent divorce. In Taiz and Ibb as well, the high tourism season yields many visitors from wealthier Gulf countries who get married to a Yemeni girl for one, two or three weeks during their vacation so that they can legally have sexual relations. The visitors will divorce the girl at the end of the vacation, leaving them to fend for themselves. The study showed that 39 percent of these girl prostitutes in Aden are divorced. Many of the girls come from poor, illiterate or uneducated families, added Abdulghani.

Street children at increased risk of sexual abuse

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Sanaa, 25 June 2007

[accessed 13 March 2015]

INCREASED NUMBER OF STREET CHILDREN - "If they have been on the street for a long time, the chances of them being sexually abused is around 90 percent," Shugaa said.  According to reports, boys as young as eight have been lured into the cars of strangers for as little as US$1, while others are sexually abused by older boys living rough on the street - a dire reminder of the vicious circle of abuse found throughout the world involving street children.

Yet the boys, generally brought into the center by police or the center's own outreach programme, rarely divulge the abuse they have suffered.  "I never did those kinds of bad things, but I know others who have," one 13-year-old boy at the center whispered, glancing away from the peering eyes of other boys. "When you are hungry you do what you have to do," he said, adding he knew of several occasions when a boy would be brought to a man's home for a few days and routinely abused, before being let go.

"Yes, there are some bad boys doing bad things," said another child at the centre who did not know his own age and who had been left on the streets by his mother to fend for himself after the death of his father in 1995.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Regional Overview – Sexual Exploitation of Children Middle East and North Africa [PDF]

Zina Khoury and Sirsa Qursha, ECPAT International, 2020

[accessed 10 September 2020]

This Regional Overview on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), consolidates the relevant existing data to map the context, risk factors, region-specific issues, responses and gaps in the fight against the issue. In addition to providing external audiences with a summary and analysis of the SEC, this report will also serve as an advocacy tool that highlights good practices by governments and other actors, and identifies opportunities for improvements. Keywords: child marriage, war and conflict, LQBTQI, SOGIE, gender norms, taboo

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 - The law does not define statutory rape and does not impose an age limit for consensual sex. The law prohibits pornography, including child pornography, although there was no information available on whether the legal prohibitions were comprehensive. The law criminalizes the prostitution of children. Amnesty International reported children as young as eight were raped in the city of Taiz during the year. It also reported four cases of sexual violence against children reportedly by militiamen aligned with a political party.

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 10 September 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 1223]

There is evidence of chattel slavery, as children are owned, sold, and inherited as property particularly in Al Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, and Al Mahwit governorates. (2,26,42,43) Yemeni children, mostly boys who migrate to Sana’a, Aden, and Saudi Arabia, are engaged in forced labor for domestic work, begging, or work in small shops. (2,26) Moreover, reports indicate that commercial sexual exploitation of children has increased over the past several years. Girls are subjected to human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation within Yemen in hotels and clubs located in Aden, Sana’a, Ta’iz, and other cities. (2,26)

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 June 2005

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[66] The Committee is very concerned that regardless of the fact that child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children are reported to be serious problems in the State party, those issues have not been sufficiently addressed. The Committee is particularly concerned at: (a) The absence of legislation clearly prohibiting child sexual abuse and the lack of a clear definition of the term in the State party as well as the lack of a legislation which clearly defines sexual consent; (b) The absence of statistics and data on the issue of child sexual abuse; and (c) Traditional attitudes regarding the subject (inter alia, concepts like family honor) which implies a majority of abuse cases go unreported.

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 – YEMEN – In Yemen, girls and young women are the main victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Accordingly the NGOs that work on gender issues are the ones best equipped to fight against CSEC.

Yemen's Street Children Vulnerable to Numerous Abuses

[Last access date unavailable]

Available information indicates that Yemen’s street children face harsh living conditions and are vulnerable to numerous abuses. Some of the worst-off fall prey to adults who involve them in prostitution, drug-trafficking and other illicit activities. According to the ILO, cases of sexual abuse, psychological trauma and drug addiction are common among these children.

Which professionals in government services have been trained to assist in the recovery and reintegration of child victims? [DOC]

Presidency of Council of Ministers, Higher Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and Yemen Psychological Association, Yemen -- ECPAT: Agenda for Action Report - 2002

[accessed 17 August 2011]

[p.80 line 23] Whenever a CSEC victim is taken to court in Yemen, and it has been proven that the child has been sexually exploited, the child is taken care of by governmental officials. These officials have the responsibility of referring the child to a suitable governmental shelter/institution where the child is protected and rehabilitated through recovery procedures. In these shelters, trained social workers and medical professionals offer health services and conduct extra curricular activities such as sports with the aim of reducing the chances of the children going back to their “original” environments.

5.1 Middle East - State of CSEC/ Attitudes toward CSEC [PDF]

ECPAT International, Looking Back Thinking Forward, November 2000 -- The fourth report on the implementation of the Agenda for Action adopted at the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm, Sweden, August 1996

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

[accessed 17 August 2011]

While Israel, Jordan and Lebanon indicate a tacit willingness to address the issue, the majority of the countries in the region have not conducted research and deny the possibility that children are being sexually exploited for commercial purposes.  Open discussions of sex related issues are regarded as a social taboo thus further explaining the lack of research and acknowledgement of CSEC.  While the extent of child prostitution in the Middle East region is unknown, anecdotal evidence indicates that there is a large problem in selected areas of the region.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children - Middle East/North Africa region

This summary is based on the situation analysis written by Dr Najat M’jid for the Arab-African Forum against Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Rabat, Morocco, 24-26 October 2001

[accessed 17 August 2011]

These countries also have in common, however, a number of constraints that have hindered preparation of national plans of action. In all the countries of the region, there is cultural resistance to addressing the problem because the subject is largely taboo.  Often the issue is dealt with more generally under headings such as ‘violence’ and ‘trauma’.  This means that there has been no regional consensus on defining CSEC in law; in some countries, for example, it is looked upon as an indecent act, in others as rape, although in all 20 countries there is some section of the penal code that can be invoked against sexual abuse and exploitation.

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 - Yemen",, [accessed <date>]