In El Salvador, prostitution itself is legal but not inducing, facilitating, promoting or giving incentives to a person to work as a prostitute (operating brothels or prostitution rings). The prostitution of children (those under 18) is also illegal. Prostitution is common in San Salvador.
Child prostitution is a problem. An NGO study in 1998 indicated that at least 44% of the estimated 1,300 prostitutes in 3 major red light districts of San Salvador were between the ages of 13 and 18. Among all prostitutes of the country, between 10 and 25 percent of visible prostitutes are minors, and an estimated 40 percent of the hidden prostitutes who cater to upper-class clients are believed to be minors, according to a UNICEF study released in 2000