Prostitution of children
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Prostitution of children or child prostitution is the commercial sexual exploitation of children in which a child performs the services of prostitution, for financial benefit. The term normally refers to prostitution by a minor, or person under the legal age of maturity. In many countries there are specific laws against child prostitution which may include people who are older than the legal Age of consent.
The form of child prostitution in which people travel to foreign countries for the purposes of avoiding laws in their country of residence is known as child sex tourism.
A customer may negotiate an exchange directly with a prostituted child in order to receive sexual gratification, or through an intermediary (pimp) who controls or oversees the child's activities for profit. The provision of children for sexual purposes may also be an object of exchange between adults. Many children are prostituted over the Internet with the use of webcams to facilitate this abuse, and child pornography may be linked to the prostitution.
|Sex and the law|
(May vary according to jurisdiction)
Adultery · Buggery · Child grooming
|Sexuality · Criminal justice · Law|
The Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography to the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that child prostitution is the practice whereby a child hires out his or her body for sexual activities in return for remuneration or any other form of consideration. The remuneration or other consideration could be provided to the prostituted child, or to another person. The 158 countries who are parties to the Optional Protocol (at August 2012) undertake to prohibit child prostitution.
The Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (Convention No 182) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) provides that the "use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution" is one of the "worst forms of child labor." This convention, adopted in 1999, provides that countries that had ratified it must eliminate the practice urgently. It enjoys the fastest pace of ratifications in the ILO's history since 1919.
Child prostitution is sometimes used to describe the wider concept of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). However, child prostitution excludes other identifiable manifestations of CSEC, such as commercial sexual exploitation through child marriage, domestic child labor, and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
It was the limitations of the term child prostitution that led to the development in the mid-1990s of the term commercial sexual exploitation of children, or CVE, as a more encompassing description of specific forms of sexual trade involving children. Nevertheless, ‘child prostitution’ remains in common usage and is indeed the wording embedded in international instruments of law.
Some[who?] believe that the terms child prostitution and child prostitute carry problematic connotations. They claim this is because these terms, on their own, fail to make it clear that children are generally not expected to be able to make an informed choice to prostitute themselves. The act of prostituting a child is sometimes carried out by another party, as stated in the definition provided by the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
Causes and context 
Children are often forced by social structures and individual agents into situations in which adults take advantage of their vulnerability and sexually exploit and abuse them. Structure and agency commonly combine to force a child into commercial sex: for example, the prostitution of a child frequently follows from prior sexual abuse, often in the child's home.
Child prostitution usually takes place in particular environments, such as brothels, bars and clubs, or homes, or particular streets and areas (usually in socially run down places). According to one study, only about 10% of prostituted children have a pimp and over 45% got into the business through friends. Sometimes it is not organized, but often it is, either on a small scale through individual pimps or on a larger scale through extensive criminal networks.
Children also engage in prostitution, however, when they exchange sex outside these environments and in return not only for basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, or safety, but also for extra pocket money for desired consumer goods otherwise out of their reach.
These people are prostituted in conditions that appear otherwise perfectly normal. Enjo kosai, the pay-dating or "sponsored dating" practice reported in Japan, is considered a prime example of this. However, this latter practice is by definition voluntary rather than via manipulation.
Living and working conditions for children who are prostituted are frequently substandard. Such children are commonly poorly paid or unpaid, kept in unsanitary conditions, denied access to proper medical care, and constantly watched and kept subservient through threat of force. These threats may be physical or psychological in nature.
The Asian sex trade is often assumed to cater predominantly to foreigners. Sex Slaves turns that belief on its head to show that while western sex tourists have played a vital part in the growth of the industry, the primary customers of Asia's indentured sex workers and of its child prostitutes are overwhelmingly Asians.
While the legality of adult prostitution varies between different parts of the world, the prostitution of minors is illegal in most countries. Furthermore, many countries whose citizens most frequently engage in international child procurement, such as the United States, Australia and European countries, enforce worldwide jurisdiction on their nationals traveling abroad.
As previously mentioned, some literature refers to prostituted children aged at least 13 but less than 18 years of age as 'teenage prostitutes,' but the most common definition of a 'child' is a person who is under the age of 18. The latter definition is used by the ILO's Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, discussed above. Therefore prostitution of children usually assumed to refer to the prostitution of persons under 18.
The laws of some countries do, however, distinguish between prostituted teenagers and prostituted children. For example, the Thai government defines teenage prostitution as involving minors between 15 and 18 years old, while the Japanese government defines the category as referring to minors between 13 and 18. "Teenage prostitution" is not the only concept distinguishing between less and more serious illegal acts. In the People's Republic of China, all forms of prostitution are illegal, but having sexual contact with anyone under the age of 14, regardless of consent, will be charged with a more serious crime than raping an adult.
In India, the federal police say that around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution. A CBI statement said that studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimated that about 40% of all people in prostitution in India are children.
An article in the Gulf Times revealed a major sex trade in mostly Nepalese boys who were lured to India and sold to brothels in Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Lucknow and Gorakhpur. One victim was lured from Nepal at the age of 14, sold into slavery, locked up, beaten, starved and forcibly circumcised. He reported that he was held in a brothel with 40 to 50 other boys, many of whom were castrated. He escaped and made his way back to Nepal. Two Non Government Organisations, one that work with homosexuals in Nepal, and one that works to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked women and children were co-operating to help these boys.
In Bangladesh, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated in 2004 that there were 10,000 underage girls used in commercial sexual exploitation in the country, but other estimates placed the figure as high as 29,000.
South America 
By 1999, it was reported that in Argentina child prostitution was increasing at an alarming rate and that the average age was decreasing. The CATW fact book says Argentina is one of the favored destinations of pedophile sex tourists from Europe and the United States. The Criminal Code criminalizes the prostitution of minors of eighteen years of age or younger, but it only sanctions those who “promote or facilitate” prostitution, and not the client who exploits the minor.
In Chile the estimated number of children involved in some form of prostitution has decreased. In 1999 UNICEF informed that there were approximately 10,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18 involved in prostitution, but in 2003, a governmental agency estimated that there were approximately 3,700 minors.
Brazil is considered to have the worst child sex trafficking record after Thailand. According to the Protection Project report, various official sources agree that from 250,000 to 500,000 children lived in prostitution, but other sources in Brazil put the number at up to 2,000,000 children.
North America 
A study by UNICEF Mexico and the DIF/National System for Integral Family Development estimated that more than 16,000 children in Mexico were involved in prostitution (in June 2000); a 2004 study by researcher Elena Azaola estimated that some 17,000 children under the age of 18 are victims of the sex trade in Mexico; the State System of Integral Family Development (DIF) reported that more than 20,000 minors were victims of child prostitution in Mexico in 2005, an increase since the year 2000. Out of Mexico City’s 13,000 street children, 95% have already had at least one sexual encounter with an adult (many of them through prostitution).
In El Salvador, an NGO study in 1998 indicated that at least 44% of the estimated 1,300 people in prostitution in three major red light districts of San Salvador were between the ages of 13 and 18. Among all people in prostitution in the country, between 10 and 25 percent who are visible are minors, and an estimated 40 percent of the hidden people who are prostituted to upper-class clients are believed to be minors, according to a UNICEF study released in 2000.
In Nicaragua, according to Casa Alianza, in the brothels of Managua there are between 1,200 and 1,500 prostituted girls and young women, and almost half of them are under the age of 18. Every night, hundreds of teenage girls line the Masaya Highway commercial corridor on the capital's south side. Street children engage in prostitution, often to support a drug habit.
In the United States, organizations such as Asian gangs, Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, MS-13, Sureños, Vice Lords, and members of OMGs engage in prostitution. A 2011 report conducted by the FBI, some of these gangs also engage in child prostitution.
A 2006 report by World Vision Middle East/Eastern Europe funded by the Canadian government and supported by six United Nations agencies and the International Organization for Migration reported that the sexual exploitation of children, child trafficking and sexual violence towards minors is increasing and that Russia is becoming a new destination for child sex tourism. The report adds that some studies claim approximately 20 to 25 percent of the people involved in prostitution in Moscow are minors.
In Australia, there are an estimated 4000 children involved in prostitution, according to a study by Child Wise, the Australian arm of the global End Child Prostitution Pornography And Trafficking group.
ECPAT New Zealand and Stop Demand Foundation have cited in a report, “The Nature and Extent of the Sex Industry in New Zealand,” a police survey of the New Zealand sex industry, which showed that 210 children under the age of 18 years were identified as selling sex, with three-quarters being concentrated in one Police District.
See also 
- Child labour
- Child pornography
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children
- Human trafficking
- International instruments relevant to prostitution of children
- List of the worst forms of child labour (ILO convention)
- Trafficking of children
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