Prostitution in Peru

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prostitution in Peru is legal and regulated.[1][2][3][4] UNAIDS estimate there to be 67,000 prostitutes in the country.[5]

Adult prostitution[edit]

Prostitution between adults is legal for women and men over 18 years of age if they register with municipal authorities and carry a health certificate.[6] Brothels must be licensed. The vast majority of prostitutes work in the informal sector, where they lack health protection.[7][8][6] Individual police officers tolerate the operation of unlicensed brothels.[9]

Child prostitution[edit]

Child prostitution is illegal. Penalties for pimps and clients of underage prostitutes range from four to eight years in prison.[6] Child prostitution is common in the country, and especially in Peru's isolated Amazonian mining communities.[10] In the Amazonian department of Madre de Dios the illegal exploitation of gold has dramatically increased the recruitment and coercion of adolescents into prostitution through false employment offers.[11]

While poverty and inequality are important causes of child prostitution, part of the problem is also a social attitude that views sex—including paid sex—between adult men and adolescent girls as normal. Luis Gonzalez-Polar Zuzunada, president of La Restinga (an Iquitos-based nonprofit organization that works with at-risk children) said about teenage prostitution:"It's not seen as a crime. People think that's the way it is. Here, anyone is a potential client."[12]

The Peruvian government recognizes child sex tourism to be a problem, particularly in Iquitos, Madre de Dios, and Cuzco.[13]

Sex trafficking[edit]

Peru is a source, transit point, and destination for trafficked persons. The majority of human trafficking occurs within the country.

Many trafficking victims are women and girls from impoverished rural regions of the Amazon, recruited and coerced into prostitution in urban nightclubs, bars, and brothels, often through false employment offers or promises of education.[6]

Domestic trafficking occurs particularly in districts located in the Andes or the Amazon jungle, to bring underage girls into cities or mining areas to work as prostitutes. Victims are recruited by friends or acquaintances and through newspaper and Internet advertisements or street posters offering employment; some victims are recruited by local employment agencies that offer poor young women from rural areas relatively well-paid "restaurant work" in Lima, Cusco, major coastal cities, and abroad.[6]

The principal victims and groups at high risk for trafficking are children and young women from rural or poor urban areas, persons living in poverty, persons with disabilities, victims of domestic abuse, illiterate persons, and persons lacking birth certificates or other identification documents.

Peru also is a destination country for some Ecuadorian and Bolivian women trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.[13]

The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks Peru as a 'Tier 2' country.[14]


  1. ^ JOHNSON, TIM (26 December 1987). "Business Is Off at Peru Brothels : AIDS Scare Prompts Officials to Promote Use of Condoms". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  2. ^ López, Raúl Necochea (1 January 2014). A History of Family Planning in Twentieth-century Peru. UNC Press Books. ISBN 9781469618081. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ López, Raúl Necochea (15 October 2014). A History of Family Planning in Twentieth-Century Peru. UNC Press Books. ISBN 9781469618098. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Toebes, Brigit; Ferguson, Rhonda; Markovic, Milan M.; Nnamuchi, Obiajulu (5 September 2014). The Right to Health: A Multi-Country Study of Law, Policy and Practice. Springer. ISBN 9789462650145. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Sex workers: Population size estimate - Number, 2016". UNAIDS. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e "2008 Human Rights Report: Peru". US Department of State. Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  7. ^ Aggleton, Peter (1 January 1999). Men who Sell Sex: International Perspectives on Male Prostitution and HIV/AIDS. Temple University Press. ISBN 9781566396691. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Ditmore, Melissa Hope (1 January 2006). Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313329708. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Peru". The UN Refugee Agency. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  10. ^ International, Alfonso Daniels Emergency Media Manager for Save the Children (14 November 2011). "Child Prostitution Booming in Peruvian Amazon". HuffPost. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  11. ^ "La Republica: Exposé on child prostitution in Peruvian Amazon mining towns". Peruvian Times. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  12. ^ "In Peruvian jungle city, church works to help child prostitutes". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  13. ^ a b "Human Trafficking" (PDF). US Department of State. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  14. ^ "Peru2018 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.

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