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Sexual Violence and Exploitation of Children in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case of Jamaica

May 1, 1999 · 

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Published in the Sexual Violence and Exploitation of Children in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case of Jamaica
(May 1999)

The report was commissioned by the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IACI). It is part of a wider research project at IACI on sexual exploitation of children which has been undertaken in ten countries in Latin America and the Caribbean Region to explore the responses of governments and non-governmental organisations and to generate recommendations for effective handling of the issues.

Sian Williams, from University of the West Indies, who was responsible for the Jamaican study, found that in Jamaica, girls as young as twelve years, and boys as young as nine, are thought to be involved in the sex trade. The children are found dancing in “go-go clubs” and provide sex services for both tourists and local customers. They also looked for customers in the street.

Most of the children spend the money they earn from selling sex on food for their families and school fees. Many young girls from poor communities are involved in long-term sexual relationships to earn income for their families.

The report also states that lack of updated information, an effective legislative framework, and public awareness of the problem are the main reasons why the country is not finding solutions to child prostitution.

Two recommendations arise from those who contributed to this study. The first is to develop a National Plan of Action, which the Jamaican government is already committed to do. The second recommendation is to design primary research in this area to identify children’s perspectives, cultural factors in programme intervention, and the evidence to estimate the magnitude of the problem.

(Sexual Violence and Exploitation of Children in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case of Jamaica, May 1999)

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