SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - The two little girls, arms folded across their chests to ward off the unseasonable chill of the night, eyed the pair of tall gringo men speculatively, then offered tentative smiles. You look like you might want to buy something. Meet Stephanie, 12, and Ivette, 13, two members of a fast-growing Costa Rican work force: child prostitutes.
In Mexico City, prostitution is not considered to be a crime. At most, it constitutes a civic fault which, in general, is no more dangerous than jaywalking. Legal or not, many women are driven to this industry by necessity or coercion.
A Broward man who admitted he traveled to South America and had sex with child prostitutes blamed what he called the Colombian culture for tempting and corrupting him when he was sentenced to prison Tuesday. Dennis De Jesus, 46, of North Lauderdale, pleaded guilty to federal sex tourism and child pornography possession charges earlier this year. He admitted he traveled to Colombia for sex with two girls, ages 14 and
BOGOTA Thomson Reuters Foundation - Women and girls in South America are more likely to become victims of sex trafficking inside their own or neighboring countries than to be trafficked across continents, officials said on Tuesday, urging cooperation among regional governments. The sexual exploitation of women and girls remains the most common form of human trafficking in South America, and most victims identified in the past two years came from within their own country or region, according to latest figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC. In Colombia, which shares a border with Venezuela, local criminal networks running sex-trafficking rings are increasingly targeting destitute Venezuelan women and girl migrants fleeing their homeland, according to state prosecutor Mario Gomez. So far about three million Venezuelans have fled economic collapse and food and medicine shortages in their homeland.
Sexual exploitation that the UN says amounts to slavery is forcing girls and their families from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to seek refuge in Mexico. Wed 23 Nov Increasing numbers of women and girls are fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras amid mounting evidence that criminal gangs are systematically targeting adolescent girls as sexual slaves.
The entrance to a brothel in La Paz, Bolivia. NGOs working with girls who have been sexually exploited fear that Bolivia is turning into a hub for predators. Image by Tracey Eaton.
In fact, there are 77 countries that have completely legalized it and 11 that have limited prostitution but still allow it. Some places, like the United Stateshave made it illegal with a few exceptions. Many countries have cut down on prostitution in a roundabout way by confining it to red light districts or by making it extremely difficult for sex workers to actually get clients.
Police in Los Angeles are trying a radical new approach to tackle the epidemic of child prostitution. Vice officers in America's second largest city say treating teenagers as victims rather than criminals gives them the best chance of rebuilding their lives away from the streets. Sky News joined LA vice squad's small human trafficking unit in an undercover operation on "the tracks" in south central Los Angeles.
Prostitutionthe practice of engaging in relatively indiscriminate sexual activity, in general with someone who is not a spouse or a friend, in exchange for immediate payment in money or other valuables. Prostitutes may be female or male or transgender, and prostitution may entail heterosexual or homosexual activity, but historically most prostitutes have been women and most clients men. Perceptions of prostitution are based on culturally determined values that differ between societies.