Torture in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
 

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                gvnet.com/childprostitution/Guatemala.htm

Republic of Guatemala

Guatemala is the most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. The agricultural sector accounts for about one-tenth of GDP, two-fifths of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products, with sugar exports benefiting from increased global demand for ethanol.

The distribution of income remains highly unequal with more than half of the population below the national poverty line. Other ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, curtailing drug trafficking and rampant crime, and narrowing the trade deficit.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Guatemala

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Guatemala.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***

Guatemala: Where Sexual Exploitation of Minors Is Not a Crime

Alberto Mendoza, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Guatemala City, Oct 13, 2006

www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=35100

[accessed 20 May 2011]

Sexual exploitation of minors is not classified as a crime in Guatemala, where activists say child sex tourism is on the rise, and the toughest penalty for "corruption of minors" and "aggravated procuring" is a 400 dollar fine.

"I had problems at home, and a girlfriend took me to work with her in a bar." That is how Alba, at the age of 14, began to be sexually exploited in a brothel on the outskirts of the Guatemalan capital. Her mother was demanding that she bring money home, and she saw it as a way to earn an income.  For Alba's family, which is poor, the 160 dollars a month that she brought home was an important source of income.

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/guatemala.htm

[accessed 8 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Street children tend to be especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation and other forms of violence, constituting a serious problem in Guatemala. In general, child prostitution is on the rise. Guatemala is considered a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked children. There is also evidence of internal trafficking. Children from poor families in Guatemala tend to be drawn into trafficking for purposes of prostitution through advertisements for lucrative foreign jobs or through personal recruitment.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61729.htm

[accessed 8 February 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - Trafficking was particularly a problem in the capital and in towns along the borders with Mexico and El Salvador. Child migrants who did not cross the border into Mexico often remained in the country and resorted to or were forced into prostitution. Many women and children also were brought into the country from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras by organized rings that forced them into prostitution. The primary target population for sexual exploitation was minor boys and girls or young women from poor families. Traffickers often approached individuals with promises of economic rewards, jobs in cafeterias or beauty parlors, or employment in other countries. The means of promotion included flyers, newspaper advertisements, and verbal or personal recommendations.

Human Rights Reports » 2003 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 25, 2004

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27900.htm

[accessed 28 February 2011]

CHILDREN - Child prostitution was especially a problem in the capital and in the towns of Escuintla, Tecun Uman, and Coban. Child prostitution in towns along the borders with Mexico and El Salvador continued to increase. Child migrants who failed to cross the border into Mexico often remained in the country and resorted to prostitution to survive. Many children were also brought into the country from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras by organized rings that forced the children into prostitution.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 8 June 2001

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/guatemala2001.html

[accessed 8 February 2011]

[52] While noting that the National Plan against Sexual and Commercial Exploitation is in the final stages of elaboration, the Committee expresses its deep concern that, with regard to the increasing phenomenon of commercial sexual exploitation of children, in particular girls, there are no data available, legislation is inadequate, cases involving sexually exploited children are often not investigated and prosecuted, and no rehabilitation programs are available.

Child Trafficking Soar in Guatemala

Prensa Latina News Agency, Jul 23, 2007

genderberg.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2522

[accessed 8 February 2011]

Maria Eugenia Villareal, member of the NGO, said girls aged eight to fourteen are sold as sex slaves or used in risky sectors like garbage collection and classification, peddling and construction.

Attorney Alex Colop calls serious problem the absence of laws with severe sanctions for such practices since the perpetrators walk free on bail or pay a fine.  In addition, the children do not press charges fearing threats from the exploiters or to loose their income source.

Guatemala: Where Sexual Exploitation of Minors Is Not a Crime

Alberto Mendoza, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Guatemala City, Oct 13, 2006

www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=35100

[accessed 20 May 2011]

Sexual exploitation of minors is not classified as a crime in Guatemala, where activists say child sex tourism is on the rise, and the toughest penalty for "corruption of minors" and "aggravated procuring" is a 400 dollar fine.

"I had problems at home, and a girlfriend took me to work with her in a bar." That is how Alba, at the age of 14, began to be sexually exploited in a brothel on the outskirts of the Guatemalan capital. Her mother was demanding that she bring money home, and she saw it as a way to earn an income.  For Alba's family, which is poor, the 160 dollars a month that she brought home was an important source of income.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

www.no-trafficking.org/content/web/05reading_rooms/five_years_after_stockholm.pdf

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – GUATEMALA – The process for the development of a national plan in Guatemala has been meticulous and long. Due to the regional differences in Guatemala and the fact that 22 indigenous languages are spoken, it was felt that the plan needed to take into consideration the particularities and needs of each region. An initial diagnosis on CSEC in Guatemala was carried out, followed by two regional workshops to determine the needs of each region. The National Plan of Action is awaiting final approval.

Child Prostitution: A Growing Scourge

W. E. Gutman, The Panama News, TEGUCIGALPA, Vol. 10, No. 7, April 17, 2004

www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_10/issue_07/travel_01.html

[accessed 20 May 2011]

A REGION OUT OF CONTROL - At least 5,000 minors live in the streets of Guatemala and many have turned to prostitution to survive.  Attributed in part to Guatemala's dismal economy, this phenomenon is also blamed on an alarming rise in the use of crack cocaine among homeless youth, a practice that further prejudice them in the eyes of trigger-happy police who often rape, torture and murder them.

The Protection Project - Guatemala [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

www.protectionproject.org/human_rights_reports/report_documents/guatemala.doc

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - A United Nations report reveals that about 2,000 prostituted minors were working in Guatemala. Child prostitution is concentrated in Guatemala City, border-crossing areas, sectors with a great number of migrant laborers, ports, and areas surrounding military bases and tourist spots. Traffickers recruit young women and girls by offering them false immigration papers. According to one report, of the 270 Guatemalan brothels visited by Casa Alianza, 70 percent had female minors and more than half of them came from other countries in the region.

Guatemala - Reports to Treaty Bodies - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Human Rights Internet, For The Record 2002 - The United Nations Human Rights System, Volume 4: Latin America & the Caribbean

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 September 2011]

The Committee expressed concern about the following elements, inter alia: the apparent lack of coordination between numerous national mechanisms at various levels aimed at institutionalizing women's rights and gender mainstreaming; the fact that, while the Constitution refers to the principle of equality, the terms "equity" and "equality" appear to be used synonymously in the government's reports and programmes; the ambiguity of laws dealing with prostitution, particularly child prostitution; the high level of child prostitution and sexual exploitation of minors.

ECPAT-USA Testifies Before the U S Senate

Sharon L. Wallenberg, Main US Servas UN Rep, UN Reports - Summer 2002 - Sex Tourism

www.usservas.org/UN%20Reports/un_summer_2002.htm

[accessed 20 May 2011]

CASA ALIANZA, A CENTRAL AMERICAN NGO -  Instead of the children being sent to an adequate home for trafficked victims, the six girls – as young as 14 and one of them pregnant – were sent to the Gorriones Juvenile Detention Center for Girls, and the boy was sent to a center for delinquent boys. The seven children had been duped into leaving El Salvador to work in ‘legitimate’ work places only to find themselves forced into prostitution. Two men have been arrested in connection with the trafficking of the children but the UN is highly concerned that the victims are also being treated as criminals.

Crack Blamed For Rise In Central American Child Prostitution

The Associated Press AP, GUATEMALA CITY, November 22, 1999

www.latinamericanstudies.org/guatemala/crack.htm

[accessed 20 May 2011]

It didn't used to be so hard for girls on the street to get drugs such as glue, but the higher price of crack has induced more children into prostitution.  Nowhere has child prostitution taken off like in Guatemala.

If You Turn Up Dead, No One Will Wonder Why

Diego Cevallos, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Mexico City, Mar 10, 2005

ipsnews.net/print.asp?idnews=27817

[accessed 20 May 2011]

According to Capellín, who provided IPS with some data from the upcoming report, the researchers found minors under 18 years of age working as prostitutes in all of the 50 brothels they visited in Guatemala.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution - Guatemala", http://gvnet.com/childprostitution/Guatemala.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]