Prostitution in Djibouti

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prostitution in Djibouti is illegal[1] but tolerated.[2] UNAIDS estimate there are 2,900 prostitutes in the country.[3] Many work from bars and nightclubs.[2][4] There is a red-light district in Djibouti City.[5]

Due to its strategic position, troops from United States, China, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Italy. Russia, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom are stationed in bases in Djibouti.[6] The presence of these troops increase the demand for prostitution.[5][6][4] During an investigation in 2015, it was found almost half of the 775th Engineering Detachment of the Tennessee Army National Guard had used prostitutes whilst stationed in Djibouti.[7]

During World War I, the French set up military brothels for their troops. These continued for the use of the Foreign Legion until 1978.[6]

HIV prevalence amongst sex workers in the country is 12.9%.[8]

Sex trafficking[edit]

Djibouti is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking, although limited data on trafficking cases has complicated efforts to determine the full scope of the phenomenon. Men, women, and children, primarily from Ethiopia and Somalia, and to a lesser extent from Eritrea, transit Djibouti voluntarily en route to Yemen and other locations in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, to seek work. An unknown number of these migrants are subjected to sex trafficking in their intended destinations.[9]

Djiboutian and migrant women and street children are vulnerable to sex trafficking in Djibouti City, the Ethiopia-Djibouti trucking corridor, and Obock, the main departure point for Yemen. Some migrants intending to be smuggled may be transported or detained against their will and subsequently subjected to trafficking and other forms of abuse in Djibouti. Some migrant women reportedly were subjected to domestic servitude and forced prostitution in Djibouti.[9]

The 2016 Law No. 133, On the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Illicit Smuggling of Migrants, criminalizes all forms of trafficking; it prescribes penalties of five to 10 years imprisonment, and 20 when aggravating factors are present, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crime.[9]

The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks Djibouti as a 'Tier 2' country.[10]


  1. ^ "The Legal Status of Prostitution by Country". ChartsBin. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Terlingen, Sanne; Kooy, Hannah (26 March 2016). "How the Djibouti Palace Kempinski Hotel facilitates prostitution -". Ayyaantuu News. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Sex workers: Population size estimate - Number, 2016". UNAIDS. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Egbejule, Eromo (12 February 2018). "Djibouti's Booming Nightlife Scene — Fueled by Foreign Militaries". OZY. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b Murray, Kieran (14 July 2000). "Legionnaires enjoy Djibouti's red light life". IOL News. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Acheson, Ray. "REMOTE WARFARE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN DJIBOUTI" (PDF). Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  7. ^ Acheson, Ray (2017). "Remote Warfare And Sexual Violence in Djibouti" (PDF). Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. p. 32. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Djibouti 2016 Country Factsheet". UNAIDS. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Djibouti 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2018.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ "Djibouti 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.