10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHILD PROSTITUTION

  1. Child Prostitution is the use of a child in sexual activities for remuneration or any other form of consideration – Article 2 (b), Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography (OPSC). This means the engagement of a child in sexual activities for monetary or non-monetary benefits (gifts, food, clothes, etc.) can be called Child Prostitution.
  2. Numerous children are trafficked each year across the world and are integrated into prostitution networks against their will.
  3. While prostitution and solicitation of a child is illegal in Sri Lanka, the country is known as a ‘pedophile’s paradise’ amongst certain circles.
  4. Much of the child prostitution in Sri Lanka occur due to Child Sex Tourists; offenders who travel for the primary purpose of exploiting vulnerable children in countries with less constructive laws; often with the use of a local intermediary. 
  5. However, there are a growing number of child prostitution crimes being conducted by local travelers as well.
  6. Some estimates state that there are 40,000 child sex workers in Sri Lanka, and 5,000 – 30,000 of them being used by Western Child Sex Tourists.
  7. Poverty, lack of education, parental neglect, scattered families, and physical / mental / sexual abuse of children at home can all be causal factors for children entering the prostitution trade. 
  8. That said, the lucrative nature of this trade has driven many children to prostitute themselves for benefits, sometimes with the approval or pressurizing from parents. 
  9. Both girl children and boy children are involved in child prostitution in Sri Lanka. However, the majority of the children involved in child sex tourism are the boys who are used in organized prostitution rings.
  10. Children who are prostituted face many problems, including marginalization in society, lack of access to healthcare and education, physical and psychological trauma, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS, Syphilis, Herpes and others.