Prostitution in Africa
The legal status of Prostitution in Africa varies widely. It is frequently common in practice, partially driven by the widespread poverty in many sub-Saharan African countries, and is one of the drivers for the prevalence of AIDS in Africa. (36.9% in sub-Saharan Africa) Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire permit the operations of brothels. In other countries, prostitution may be legal, but brothels are not allowed to operate. In some countries where prostitution is illegal, the law is rarely enforced.
Transactional sexual relationships are particularly common in sub-Saharan Africa, where they often involve relationships between older men and younger women or girls. In many cases, the woman in a transactional sexual relationship may remain faithful to her boyfriend, while he may have multiple sexual partners. In both of these cases, transactional sex presents an increased risk of HIV infection. As a result, transactional sex is a factor involved in the spread of AIDS in Africa.
This page uses the UN system of subregions.
- 1 Table
- 2 Northern Africa
- 3 Western Africa
- 4 Middle Africa
- 5 Eastern Africa
- 6 Southern Africa
- 7 See also
- 8 References
|Country/Territory||Prostitution||Legal Age for solicitation||Brothels||Pimping||Notes|
|Angola||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||Prostitution remains a major problem. Female and Child prostitutes are often trafficked into China and vice versa.|
|Burkina Faso||Legal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal|
|Cameroon||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||Child prostitution remains a major problem, however the government is working hard combating it.|
|Central African Republic||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal|
|Ceuta||Uncertain, but prostitution itself isn't considered a crime||Uncertain||Illegal||Illegal||
Main article: Prostitution in Spain
|Democratic Republic of Congo||Illegal, but tolerated||Not allowed, but tolerated, age is uncertain||Illegal, but tolerated||Illegal, but tolerated|
Males are considered a witness and is exempt of punishment for testifying against the prostitute. The penalty for prostitutes is 3–36 months in prison and/or a fine. Any minor involved in prostitution is sent to a sort of corrective centre, where conditions are often as bad if not worse than they are in adult prisons
|Ethiopia||Legal||Uncertain||Illegal||Illegal||Profiting from prostitution isn't allowed by law.|
|Kenya||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||Child Prostitution is a major problem, especially along the coast.|
|Liberia||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||Although Illegal, due to widespead poverty and corruption, prostitution remains a problem|
|Malawi||Illegal, rarely enforced||Not allowed, rarely enforced, age uncertain||Illegal, rarely enforced||Illegal, rarely enforced|
|Nigeria||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||The Nigerian government is looking into legalizing prostitution|
|Sierra Leone||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||Although illegal, prostitution remains a major problem, especially child prostitution.|
|Seychelles||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||The police often look the other way at prostitutes.|
|South Africa||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal|
|South Sudan||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal|
|Tanzania||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||Tanzanian law forbids prostitution|
|Togo||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal||Although illegal, child sex tourism has remained a major problem.|
|Tunisia||Illegal, but tolerated||Not allowed, but tolerated, age is uncertain||Illegal, but tolerated||Illegal|
|Western Sahara||Illegal||Not allowed||Illegal||Illegal|
|Country/Territory||Prostitution||Legal Age for solicitation||Brothels||Pimping||Notes|
Prostitution in Egypt is illegal. Police department officially combats prostitution but, like almost all other countries, prostitution exists in Egypt. The prostitutes in Egypt are Egyptian, Russian, and of many other nationalities.
||It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article. (Discuss) (September 2014)|
Many children are vulnerable as adoption laws in Morocco are very rigid and difficult. Morocco's increasing reputation for attracting foreign pedophiles made it sign various international treaties to deal with the problem.  Male prostitution exists but is stigmatised. Health services for Moroccan sex workers include OPALS.
Traditionally, women's roles in North African society have been rigidly defined, particularly so with increasing Islamification. Yet the economic and social realities often provide few alternatives to many Moroccan women, and the area has increasingly been seen as permissive to prostitution.
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
In Côte d'Ivoire, prostitution itself (exchanging sex for money) is legal, but associated activities, such as soliciting, pandering or running brothels, are illegal. The civil war has left many women in need for wages, so some have resorted to prostitution, as there is high unemployment.
Prostitution in Ghana is illegal, and there is a growing problem of sex tourism. Ghana was become a favoured destnation for padeophiles to seek child prostiutes due to low law enforcement. Prostitution is a criminal act in Ghana. A high percentage of sex workers are vulnerable to HIV.
Defining prostitution in the African context can be difficult, when compared to the situation in Europe, with there being a continuum from marriage to prostitution. If prostitution is defined as "women who sell sex on a regular basis to a number of different clients and without any emotional or long-term basis to the relationships", then such women can be identified in urban Ghanaian settings, but, in between lies a spectrum of sexual relationships that may, for instance, involve longer term relationships, children, and domestic settings.
Vietnamese prostitutes have been found in Ghana in the coastal cities of Tema and Takoradi. Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas discovered that the Vietnamese women had been trafficked into Ghana for the purposes of prostitution. The Vietnamese prostitutes had been recruited by a Vietnamese woman named Hanh in July 2013. The price paid by their clients in Ghana was US$100 per hour. The prostitutes worked from a brothel in the Jang Mi Guest House in Takoradi. The women's ages ranged from 25 to 35.
Prostitution in Guinea-Bissau is a major serious problem with many of pimps also being drug dealers. Because of the poor economic situation many women are tempted by such offers of vice and become addicted to cocaine.
Mali has problem with teenage prostitution and sex tourism.
Prostitution in Niger is illegal.
Prostitution in Senegal is legal and regulated. Prostitutes must be at least 21 years of age, register with the police, carry a valid sanitary card, and test negative for sexually transmitted infections. NGOs working with prostitutes claim that the police abuse prostitutes. Senegal is becoming a popular destination for female sex tourism.
Since the end of the ten-year civil war in Sierra Leone, there has been an increase in child prostitution, especially among children who are struggling to survive. This has happened in spite of the fact that prostitution is illegal in the country.
Prostitution in Cameroon is illegal, but it attracts sex tourism from the West, especially for child prostitution. The Cameroonian government has attempted to stop this trade by agreeing to multilateral agreements such as charters against sex tourism, like signing up with the Universal Federation of Travels Agents Associations (UFTAA).
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Prostitution in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is illegal but the government do little to enforce the law. Many Congolese prostitutes are from abroad or homeless children who have been accused of witchcraft.
Prostitution in Burundi is illegal.
Prostitution in Eritrea is illegal, but, according to the 2009 Human Rights Reports it is a serious problem, and security forces occasionally follow women engaged in prostitution and arrest those who had spent the night with a foreigner.
||It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article. (Discuss) (April 2016)|
Prostitution in Ethiopia is legal, but procuring (operating brothels, benefiting from prostitution, etc.) is illegal according to Article 634 of the Ethiopian Penal Code, as revised May 2005. Many feel it has contributed to the increased incidence of AIDS. Ethiopia has become a magnet for sex tourism.
Prostitution in Kenya is illegal.
Prostitution in Seychelles is illegal but remains prevalent. Police generally do not apprehend prostitutes unless their actions involved other crimes.
Prostitution in Somalia is illegal. Although forced marriages exist in areas under insurgent control, there is generally little voluntary prostitution and pre-marital sex in the country according to the African Medical Research and Education Foundation (AMREF).
Prostitution in Zimbabwe is illegal but since the increase of famine in the country prostitution has thrived.
Prostitution is illegal in Botswana, but is nevertheless common. Legalization is currently being discussed as a means of lowering HIV infection rates, which are among the highest in the world. Both the head of the National AIDS Council, Festus Mogae, and the main opposition leader are in favor of the initiative, while the Catholic Church is opposed.
Prostitution in Namibia is illegal but a common practice.
Prostitution in South Africa has been illegal since the 1957 Sexual Offences Act (SOA), and the purchase of sex was added as an offence in a 2007 amendment. However, it remains common.
Rhino horn is illegally trafficked as trophies by Vietnamese prostitutes and Thai prostitutes in South Africa. Thai prostitutes were involved in the scheme by Chumlong Lemtongthai. Poles, Czechs, Thai prostitutes, and Vietnamese all participated in the rhino horn smuggling scheme which are then exported into Vietnam, where per gram, gold and rhino horn are the same in value. Hunting permits were acquired by the prostitutes.
- "Increasing prostitution driven by poverty in drought-stricken Kenya - Welthungerhilfe". Welthungerhilfe.de. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "AIDS & Prostitution". Avert.org. 2009-11-12. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "La OMS defiende la despenalización de la prostitución para reducir los contagios de VIH". ABC.es. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Legislation of Interpol member states on sexual offences against children: Egypt, Interpol, 2006
- "A Diwan of contemporary life" Al Ahram, 7–13 June 2001
- "Egypt deports 'east European prostitutes'" BBC News, 27 June 2002
- Devil in the detail" by Shaden Shehab, Al Ahram, 22–28 February 2007
- "The Virgin Prostitute!" by Marwa Rakha, American Chronicle, 29 May 2007
- Choudhury, Salah Uddin Shoaib (22 August 2011). "Removing curtains of Arab harems - III". Weekly Blitz. Dhaka. Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- "2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Morocco". United States Department of State. 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Prisoner pardon shows how much Morocco has changed | The National". Thenational.ae. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Worldcrunch.com (2012-10-05). "After Bangkok, Marrakesh Forced To Face Plague Of Sex Tourism". Worldcrunch.com. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Tennent, James (2013-09-03). "Is Morocco the Latest Haven for European Paedophiles? | VICE | United Kingdom". Vice.com. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Binoual, Imrane; Touahri, Sarah (27 November 2008). "New report addresses causes of sex tourism in Morocco". Magharebia. United States Africa Command. Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Morocco Clamps Down On Sex Tourism". Archived from the original on 2007-09-19.
- "streetlife". BBC World Service. 2000-07-01. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- Boushaba A, Imane L, Tawil O, Himmich H. "Study of the characteristics of male prostitution in Morocco and development of appropriate HIV/AIDS prevention strategies". Gateway.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Moroccan prostitutes focus of controversial AIDS education effort". Magharebia. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Child Sex Tourism in Morocco". France 24. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Morocco - Travel". Gay Times. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- Bernhard Venema & Jogien Bakker (2004). "A Permissive Zone for Prostitution in the Middle Atlas of Morocco". Ethnology. 43: 51–64.
- "Vilence against women in Tunisia" (PDF). Omct.org. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "2009 Human Rights Report: Burkina Faso". State.gov. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
- "CAPE VERDE: Sex tourism on the rise?". IRIN. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "2008 Human Rights Report: Cote d'Ivoire". United States Department of State. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices » Africa » Cote d'Ivoire". United States Department of State. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "Independent Appeal: Breaking the silence of Gambia's sex tourism". London: Independent. 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Retraining 'bumsters' to shake sex tourism tag". China Daily. Reuters. 19 May 2006. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02.
- "Child sex tourism and exploitation increasing in The Gambia". UNICEF.org. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Dalla; Defrain; Baker (1 April 2011). "Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Oceania". Lexington Books. Retrieved 23 January 2017 – via Google Books.
- Tornyi, Emmanuel. "UNICEF report: Cape Coast tops child prostitution in Ghana - Survey - News - Pulse". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Quashie, Sena. "Sin City? How prostitution, illicit sex and immorality rule Ashaiman - News - Pulse". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Prostitution in Ghana". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Ghana not a sex tourism destination". Graphic. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- "Paradise for pedos". Radio Netherlands. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
- "Ghana is "paradise for paedophiles", says OneWorld". Radio Netherlands. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- "Paradijs voor Pedo's". OneWorld. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
- "GHANA: Profile of a child sex worker". Irin News. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- "Ghana". State.gov. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "Poverty in Ghana driving children into prostitution". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Ghana: oil revives prostitution". Radio Netherlands. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Ghana Trafficking China's Prostitutes". West African Democracy Radio. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- "Children active in commercial sex work in Ghana". Thechronicle.com.gh. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Ame, Robert Kwame; Agbényiga, DeBrenna LaFa; Apt, Nana Araba (22 February 2011). "Children's Rights in Ghana: Reality or Rhetoric?". Lexington Books. Retrieved 23 January 2017 – via Google Books.
- Flowers, Ronald B. (1 January 1998). "The Prostitution of Women and Girls". McFarland. Retrieved 23 January 2017 – via Google Books.
- "2008 Human Rights Report: Ghana". State.gov. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "IOM Study shows HIV vulnerability among female sex workers in Ghana". Newstimeafrica.com. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Anarfi JK (1998). "Ghanaian women and prostitution in Cote d'Ivoire". In Kamala Kempadoo; Jo Doezema. Global sex workers: rights, resistance, and redefinition. New York, New York: Routledge. pp. 104–113. ISBN 978-0415918299. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Adams, Issaka (March 12, 2014). "Vietnamese Prostitutes in Ghana Rescue: Ghana's Finest Undercover Journalist Exposes Sex Slavery Trade / Africa News". National Turk.
- Trung, Pham (28 March 2014). "Closer look at rescue of Vietnamese women from Ghana brothel". Tuoitrenews.
- "Six Vietnamese women rescued from Ghana brothel". Tuoitrenews. 21 March 2014.
- "Chinese prostitutes invade Ghana". News Ghana. 21 Mar 2014.
- "Vietnamese women forced into sex work in Ghana rescued". Thanh Nien News. 20 March 2014.
- "Vietnamese girls rescued from sex trade in Takoradi". citifmonline. 7 March 2014.
- Anas, Anas Aremeyaw (12 March 2014). "Anas' undercover story: Trafficked and abused - how girls were sold from one trafficker to the other". New Crusading Guide. Takoradi.
- Ruha, Genevieve (8 March 2014). "Two Chinese Men Arrested In Takoradi For Trafficking Vietnamese Women There For Prostitution". GhanaNation.
- Albert Opare (24 March 2016). "Relationship Between Unemployment And Prostitution In Ghana". Modern Ghana.
- Isaac Kaledzi (21 August 2013). "Prostitutes in Ghana battle for recognition". Deutsche Welle.
- "Ghana". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Ditmore, Melissa Hope (1 January 2006). "Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work". Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved 23 January 2017 – via Google Books.
- "PM - Poverty in Ghana driving children into prostitution". Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Guinea Bissau: Crack and prostitution, cocaine's other face". Pulitzer. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- Center, Pulitzer. "Guinea Bissau: Crack and prostitution, cocaine's other face". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- "2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices -Liberia". United States Department of State. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- Toweh, Alphonso (2006-05-10). "Sexual abuse threatens Liberia's recovery". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
- "Preventing teenage prostitution in Mali". Swiss Info. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Niger's border prostitutes and the profits of Islam". Independent. London. 2001-05-05. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Alaba Rago: Where Prostitution Has Overtaken Trading". Nigerian Tribune. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- "Nigeria's largest sex market". The Sun (Nigeria). Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- "60% of prostitutes in Italy and Belgium are Nigerians". Daily Times of Nigeria. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "Nigeria has highest victims of forced labour, prostitution". Nigerian Tribune. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "Ekweremadu regrets prostitution comments". Daily Times of Nigeria. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "2008 Human Rights Report: Senegal". State.gov. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "Trafficking in Persons Report" (PDF). Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- "Senegal draws tourists with sun, sea and sex". Global Post. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Sierra Leone". State.gov. 2002-03-04. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "2010 Human Rights Report: Togo". US State Department. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Togo child prostitute crackdown". BBC. 2005-08-02. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "ANGOLA: Sex work in separatist Cabinda". IRIN. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Chinese women rescued from Angolan den of vice". China Daily. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Nzouankeu, Anne Mireille (30 May 2012). "Trending: Chinese sex workers in Cameroon". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03.
- "2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Cameroon". United States Department of State. 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Romanian brothel owners, I presume". The Age. Melbourne. 2002-10-03. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Central African Republic". State.gov. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Democratic Republic of the Congo". US State Department. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Chinese prostitutes resist effort to rescue them from Africa". Times Live. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Congo's street kids choose prostitution over death". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Prostitution rhymes with poverty in Burundi". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "The Legal Status of Prostitution by Country". ChartsBin. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "2009 Human Rights Report: Eritrea". State.gov. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "2008 Human Rights Reports: Ethiopia - Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons", United States Department of State website (accessed 26 May 2009)
- Kathleen Griffin, "Ethiopia - HIV/AIDS", Canadian Community Newspapers Association (accessed 26 May 2009)
- "Gay and Sex tourism growing in Ethiopia says NGO". Yeroo. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Igunza, Emmanuel. "Ethiopian cinema focuses on prostitution". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
- [dead link]
- "France:Egalite,Liberte,Raciste!". Thenewblackmagazine.com. 2006-01-14. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
- John Iliffe (1987-12-25). "The African Poor: A History". Books.google.co.uk. p. 184. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
- "Madagascar acts to curb sex tourism". BBC. 1999-04-29. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "2008 Human Rights Report: Madagascar". US State Department. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Prostitutes strip naked in protest". CNN. 2002-04-05. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Malawi: Prostitution fuelled by poverty and parental neglect". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Thousands of Nigerian women found in Mali slave camps". Nyasa Times. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "The strange life of a sex worker in Malawi". Nyasa Times. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "My body, my business'". The Daily Times. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Meisler, Stanley (1994-02-26). "Prostitution Report Accuses U.N. Troops in Mozambique". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "U.N. Focuses on Peacekeepers Involved in Child Prostitution". The New York Times. 1996-12-09. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "THE EYE MAGAZINE - Sisters of Rwanda". Theeye.co.rw. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
- Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Seychelles (2007) Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (March 11, 2008).
- "Somalia - State Security Services". Library of Congress. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Shinn, David. "Al Shabaab's Foreign Threat to Somalia". Foreign Policy Research Institute. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Africa Trip - AMREF". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Sex workers tell their stories about growing prostitution in South Sudan". Sudan Tribune. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Kenyan Call Girls Exporting Sex ToJuba". The Star. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Sex workers tell their stories about growing prostitution in South Sudan". Sudan Tribune. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
- "Kenyan Call Girls Exporting Sex ToJuba". The Star. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
- "Who is Responsible for Illegal Immigration into South Sudan?". South Sudan News Agency. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
- "Girls trafficked to South Sudan". Observer. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Prostitution in Juba, the inside story". The Star. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "A Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children: Tanzania" (PDF). The Protection Project.
- Ray, Audacia (2010-12-15). "It is not just violent clients who hurt sex workers". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- Uganda sets up red-light district. BBC News (2007-11-16). Retrieved on 2011-06-04.
- "The history of HIV and AIDS in Zambia". May 13, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- Sapa-AFP (2011-11-08). "Push to legalise prostitution in Botswana". Timeslive.co.za. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "Will China Say No to Wildlife Trade?". UN Chronicle. LI (2). September 2014.
- "40 year sentence for Thai rhino poacher". Save the Rhino. November 2012.
- Macan-Markar, Marwaan. "In Vietnam, Rhino Horns Worth Their Weight in Gold". Inter Press Service News Agency.
- Wardlow, Tisha (January 21, 2013). "Who ARE the Bad Guys?". Fight for Rhinos.
- "Swaziland". State.gov. 2006-03-08. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- AEGiS-AFP News: Swaziland-prostitutes: Swazi prostitutes offer credit to 'esteemed customers' – August 27, 2001. Aegis.com (2001-08-27). Retrieved on 2011-04-02.
- The History of Prostitution in Ethiopia, RICHARD PANKHURST, Journal of Ethiopian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2 (JULY 1974), pp. 159–178