Prostitution in the Central African Republic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prostitution in the Central African Republic is legal and commonplace.[1][2] Procuring[1] or profiting off the prostitution of others is illegal, as is coercing people into prostitution. Punishment is a fine and up to one year in prison, or 5 years if the case involves a minor.[2]

Human trafficking and Child prostitution is a problem in the country.[2][3] A study published in 2017[3] found that about two thirds of the prostitutes in the capitol, Bangui, worked part-time to supplement their income or to pay school and college fees. Some of the full-time prostitutes visit hotels, bars and nightclubs looking for wealthy clients, especially French men. They are known as "pupulenge" (dragonflies) or "gba moundjou" (look at the white). Those who work in the poorer neighbourhoods are known as "kata".[3]

The same survey found the age of the full-time prostitutes ranged from 16 to 30 and most (90%) came from the Central African Republic. Others came from the Congo, Chad and Cameroon.[3]


Condoms in the country are rare,[3] as they are in other sub-Saharan countries.[4] As a result infections of HIV and other STIs are high amongst sex workers in the country.[3] UNAIDS estimated that in 2016, 9.2% of the sex workers in the country were infected by HIV.[5] Other sources put the rate of infection higher.[6]

Child Prostitution[edit]

Child Prostitution is a problem in the country,[3][2] and no statutory rape laws to protect minors.

Some young women and girls enter the trade without third party involvement for survival[2] or to pay school/college fees.[3] Others become prostitutes or mistresses of wealthy men to earn money for their families.[2] There is also evidence of commercial sexual exploitation of children, either internally or to and from other countries in the area.[2][7]

In 2016, reports emerged of abuse by UN Peacekeeping personnel. It was alleged that peacekeepers from Gabon, Morocco, Burundi, and France had paid for sex with girls as young as 13 at a camp for displaced persons near Bangui. Previously peacekeepers had been accused of 22 other instances of abuse or sexual exploitation.[3][8]

Sex trafficking[edit]

The Central African Republic is a source and destination country for children subjected to trafficking in persons including forced prostitution. Most child victims are trafficked within the country, but a smaller number move back and forth from Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan.[9]

There are no specific laws in the country to deal with human trafficking, but traffickers can be prosecuted under legislation dealing with prostitution, slavery, sexual exploitation, labour code violations, and mandatory school age.[2]

U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons upgraded the country in from 'Tier 3'[10] to "Tier 2 Watch List" in 2018.[11]


  1. ^ a b "The Legal Status of Prostitution by Country". Charts Bin. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Central African Republic". 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Longo, J. D; Simaléko, M. M; Ngbale, R; Grésenguet, G; Brücker, G; Bélec, L (2017). "Spectrum of female commercial sex work in Bangui, Central African Republic". Sahara-J. 14 (1): 171–184. doi:10.1080/17290376.2017.1394907. PMC 5678296. PMID 29092678.
  4. ^ Maticka-Tyndale, E (2012). "Condoms in sub-Saharan Africa". Sexual Health. 9 (1): 59–72. doi:10.1071/SH11033. PMID 22348634.
  5. ^ "HIV prevalence amongst sex workers". UNAIDS. 2016. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  6. ^ Sepulveda, Jaime; Fineberg, H.V.; Mann, Jonathan M., eds. (1992). AIDS : prevention through education : a world view. New York, N.Y. ; Oxford: Oxford university press. p. 451. ISBN 978-0195082074.
  7. ^ Maalla, Dr Najat (2008). "Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children in West and Central Africa" (PDF). UNICEF West & Central Africa Regional Office. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  8. ^ Lucy Westcott (12 January 2016). "U.N. says peacekeepers paid 50 cents for sex with 13-year-olds: report". Newsweek.
  9. ^ "Central African Republic". Trafficking in Persons Report 2010. U.S. Department of State (14 June 2010)
  10. ^ "Trafficking in Persons Report 2017: Tier Placements". Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Central African Republic 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.