An estimated two million children yearly are forced into the commercial sex market, which includes child pornography, child prostitution, and trafficking in children for sexual purposes. Each of these forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children involves health risks, which have yet to be documented. This presentation addresses the health risks to children who are forced into prostitution. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of children - perhaps up to a million - are forced into prostitution annually. These children are at high risk for HIV, STDs, physical assaults, rape, pregnancy, pregnancy- and abortion-related complications, drug abuse, and psychological harm. This major public health problem has yet to receive the attention it warrants. Through documentation of the magnitude and health ramifications of child prostitution, programs can be developed to more effectively prevent children from entering prostitution, mitigate the health problems of those already in prostitution, and improve the impact of programs that assist children who have left prostitution. Local health and human rights workers should study conditions that force children into prostitution and the related risks to health. In addition to its public health impact, child prostitution is also a clear violation of children's human rights. Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have a right to be protected from sexual exploitation, including prostitution. It is time for the medical and public health communities to contribute to the efforts of the human rights community to combat child prostitution.
Learning Objectives: 1. Understand the health risks to children who engage in prostitution. 2. Understand the relationship between child prostitution, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and human rights. 3. Understand how public health and human rights workers can assess the local causes and impact of child prostitution
Keywords: Human Rights, Children's Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA