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Child Prostitution in Modern Society

Child prostitution is a way of engaging children, (normally individuals below the age of 18 years), in sex activities for financial benefit or remuneration which can be in form of food, shelter or even drugs. Normally, some of the victims of this vice find themselves engrossed in such activities without their knowledge. Others are forced to engage in prostitution when their families or those close to them abandon them, and therefore use it as a means of getting their daily needs. Some are even abducted and forced to engage in it through constant threats (Bales & Soodalter, 2008).

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The practice normally happens in places like bars, clubs, brothels and even homes, and when it happens, the victims are forced to use false identification especially when it involves transportation to a different country. The living conditions of such children are often poor, with poor pay and lack of proper medical care.

According to Bales 2009, both boys and girls are victims of child prostitution and those involved could be locals from the country, tourists from other countries or pedophiles. This happens in both developed and developing countries, and although many countries have set laws illegalizing it, the practice is still rampant especially in Asia and South America and even Africa.

There are a number of other reasons why these individuals engage in the practice. Whereas some do it to cater for their needs like food and shelter, others are introduced to it by their peers as a way of finding solace from constant abuse by adults or people whom they trust. In this case, they find it hard to stop even when some form of help comes by.

On the other hand, some children drop out of school when they feel that it is not helping them in any way. Quite often, they do this with the hope getting a job somewhere ass an easy way out. However, when search for jobs become futile, they resolve to engage in prostitution with adults, whereby some even take it as full time job.

A research by Anthony (1999) shows that technological advances like the internet have made it possible for children to view pornographic materials on their own. This has made them more vulnerable to engage themselves in such activities like acting in those pornographic movies. Some myths associated with AIDS, like, getting cured when one engages in sexual activities with a virgin, may also have contributed to child trafficking for prostitution purpose.

There are several dangers associated with child prostitution, some of which are physical and others mental. Children involved are sexually and physically assaulted and this lowers their self-esteem and denies them opportunities to proper health care and good education. The result can also be a long term one, even a for life time which can affect the victims’ behavior and emotions such that one is not able to make proper decisions as an adult.

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Young people involved in prostitution also may contract sexually transmitted disease such as AIDS and this leaves them desperate especially when affiliates abandon them. This desperation and lack of treatment eventually leads to death. An unwanted pregnancy is another danger associated with child prostitution. When victims realize that they have fallen into such a trap, some opt for abortion or even suicide.

Victims of this vice at times find themselves engaged in drug abuse and trafficking and the result of this facing the law where in many cases they find themselves behind bars for the rest of their lives. This also makes them have a criminal record such that incase they are freed, their reputation in the community remains ruined.

To stop child prostitution, strict measures must be put in place in different countries. Any child forced into prostitution or chooses it, must by all means be helped. This also applies to parents who have no regard for education for their children and hence force them into the vice. This can be done by creating awareness to these people through seminars, in schools and churches, and also through media. Some agencies like World Vision, UNICEF have been involved I campaigns against child prostitution worldwide. Materials such as billboards have been used in hotels, airports and streets to deter the so called ‘sex tourists’ (Ignatius & Dilip 2008)

World vision for instance has intervened to avoid children from being lured into sex trade by encouraging education amongst young people and helping them find other means of survival, in countries like Cambodia, Mexico and Brazil. They have also joined efforts with U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement to find such sex offenders and punish them in accordance to the law.

Child prostitution is a vice that is quite rampant in many societies today. Many people know about it, while others do not even think it as child abuse. However, the reality is that, this practice is very dehumanizing and denies the victim his/her right to enjoy their childhood. Many young people have left their homes and gone far and wide to engage in prostitution all in search of survival tactics. With the current spread of HIV/AIDS scourge, these people have to be protected from engaging in such activities.

To win this battle against child prostitution, joint efforts must be made globally, amongst government and non-governmental agencies to fight the vice. Those who trade as sex workers should also be helped and the society should be made aware that child prostitution is a form of child abuse.


Ignatius N. & Dilip K. (2008). Global trafficking in women and children, CRC Press.

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Bales K, & Soodalter R, (2009). The slave next door: Human trafficking and slavery in America today. University of California Press.

Anthony J. G. & Centre of Concern for Child Labour, (1999). Child Prostitution in India. Concept Publishing Company.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Child Prostitution in Modern Society." December 16, 2021.


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