Prostitution in Ecuador

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Prostitution in Ecuador is legal and regulated, as long as the prostitute is over the age of 18.[1][1] The ownership of brothels is also permitted. Prostitution is widespread throughout the country.[2][3][4][5]

Child prostitution[edit]

Child prostitution is a widely recognized problem.[6] A 2002 International Labor Organization report estimated that 5,200 minors were engaged in prostitution.[7]

Many child prostitutes have been abandoned or orphaned by one or both parents; some poverty-stricken parents also sell their children, wittingly or unwittingly, into prostitution.[7] More than half of the girls involved in prostitution work in illegal establishments.

Most child victims are trafficked internally for prostitution, but some children are also trafficked to other countries, in particular to Venezuela. The victims are usually children who are kidnapped, sold by their parents, or deceived by false employment opportunities. These children are first exploited through prostitution at the average age of 12.[8]

Most Ecuadoran children trafficked into Venezuela come from the provinces of Chimborazo and Cañar in the Andean region, a predominately indigenous area.

Human trafficking[edit]

Human trafficking is a serious problem. According to a recent government study, the main destination provinces for human trafficking include Pichincha, Guayas, Esmeraldas and Manabi; Ecuadorian women are also trafficked to Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Western Europe for commercial sexual exploitation.

Traffickers are organized criminal gangs specializing in movement of persons, proprietors of small businesses such as bars or brothels, or illicit employment brokers; victims are lured romantically or with promises of legitimate employment and then forced into prostitution.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices". U.S Department of State. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  2. ^ Emerald, Daily (16 July 2007). "Ecuadorian brothels illuminate red-light truths". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Crowder, Nicholas (15 October 2009). "CultureShock! Ecuador: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette". Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Google Books. 
  4. ^ Adshade, Marina. "The Price of Sex in South America: A Guide for Secret Service Agents". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Cunningham, Scott; Shah, Manisha (10 August 2016). "The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Prostitution". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Google Books. 
  6. ^ "CHILDREN-ECUADOR: Child Prostitution is Growth Industry - Inter Press Service". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices". U.S Department of State. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  8. ^ "Latina Women and Children at Risk". Indigenous & Latina Women & Children's Human Rights News from the Americas. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  9. ^ "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices". U.S Department of State. Retrieved 2008-03-08.