Child prostitution is a global problem whose story is a humanly tragic. Child prostitution is the illegal selling of sexual services from children under 18. Most child prostitutes are runaways that live on the streets. Being frequent victims of child abuse in their homes, these runaways escape the hostile environment in which they were raised. Also, many child prostitution victims are gay, lesbian, and transgender children who have fled their homes because their parents kicked them out for being different. The problem is that the streets are no more forgiving than their original homes. Many runaways are homeless and have no way to make enough money to get the most basic necessities to survive.
Their background makes them particularly susceptible to repeating cycles of child abuse. Most victims of child prostitution do not work independently. Their employers are human traffickers and merciless pimps only interested in keeping all or most of the money they receive as child prostitutes. The perpetual cycles of child abuse are fortified by their perverse clientele that seek sexual gratification from innocent children. Their lifestyles revolve around retributive physical and sexual violence for failing to comply with their condition of servitude. Any resistance is quashed by the abusive adults in their life, in turn, causing serious psychological damages. Many victims of child prostitution commit suicide or are murdered as a result of their perpetual psychological torment and child abuse.
Child prostitution is sometimes linked to criminal networks of human trafficking and organized crime. Human traffickers can make deceptive agreements with the children’s parents, thus forcing the kids into prostitution. Many of these children are children who have illegally emigrated to the United States with their parents. Human traffickers make false promises and charge extremely high fees for safe illegal entry into the United States; many parents and children are subsequently forced into servitude to pay off their debts to their new employers upon entry.
Child prostitution’s connection to organized crime is clear. Many legitimate business owned by national crime organizations use their facade of legitimacy as a front for illegal child prostitution. A large number of these businesses are massage parlors, escort services, and strip clubs. Child prostitutes are also commonly found in tourist destinations, at major sporting and cultural events, or simply on the streets of major cities across the United States. Child prostitution victims can be as young as 10 years old to as old as 17 years old. The average age of a child prostitute is 15 years old.
Child prostitution is not legally tolerated in most countries. Many countries have differing opinions on adult prostitution but child prostitution is unacceptable to most inhabitants of the world and the United States. The social toll that child prostitution takes on the entire community is tragic. Look no further than the streets of the any major city in the world; it is not as clandestine as one would think.
According to Russian newspaper, Pravda, there are 40,000 underage prostitutes in Venezuela, 25,000 in the Dominican Republic, 100,000 in Taiwan, 200,000 in Canada, and 300,000 to 600,000 in the United States of America. Those numbers are not acceptable in the least bit and child prostitution should be a priority of law enforcement world-wide. Most large metropolitan areas have specialized task forces dedicated to reducing both adult and child prostitution. In the United States, approximately 40% of adult prostitutes began their illegal careers when they were underage.