Main Menu
Human Trafficking
Street Children


The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                    

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes, low levels of foreign investment, and declining exports of manufactures.

Poverty levels decreased by 10% since 2001, and Islamabad steadily raised development spending in recent years.

Inflation remains the top concern among the public, jumping from 7.7% in 2007 to 20.8% in 2008, primarily because of rising world fuel and commodity prices.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Pakistan

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Pakistan.  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.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


HIV/AIDS increasing in country

Amer Malik, The News International, Lahore, December 01, 2008

[accessed 30 June 2011]

Most of the 15,000-20,000 estimated child sex workers present in Lahore live in areas near bus stands and railway station. Male child prostitution is more common than any other form of commercial sexual exploitation in Pakistan.

Though the trend of selling organs (kidney.) for cash does not seem to have caught hold in Lahore or was not reported, quite a few children were aware of the fact that they could sell their blood for money if the need arose. The limited blood screening facilities make such practice extremely unsafe and can spread HIV/AIDS on a rapid scale. Though not a single child admitted to resorting to this practice, they had come to know about this through adult drug addicts.

The Prostitution Racket

Blog: Multan, May 29, 2010

[accessed 30 June 2011]

Arooj Fatima

[accessed 17 September 2011

In a survey, I found out that ninety-five per cent of the teenage prostitutes in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore were sexually abused by their close relatives, friends and teachers before they adopted the profession of granting sexual favors for payment. In sharp contrast to the common assumption that prostitutes normally belong to the uneducated segment of society, the survey has also found that 74 per cent of them were undergraduates.

95pc teenage prostitutes were victims of abuse: Survey

[Last access date unavailable]

Ninety-five per cent of the teenage prostitutes in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore were sexually abused by their close relatives, friends and teachers before they adopted the profession of granting sexual favours for payment, a new study has found.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

Irene Pietropaoli, ECPAT International, 2011

[accessed 6 September 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Pakistan. The report looks at protection mechanisms, responses, preventive measures, child and youth participation in fighting SEC, and makes recommendations for action against SEC.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 6 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - Various local laws exist to protect children from child pornography, sexual abuse, seduction, and cruelty, but federal laws do not prohibit using children for prostitution or pornographic performances, although child pornography is illegal under obscenity laws. Legal observers reported that authorities did not regularly enforce child protection laws.

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

[accessed 15 December 2010]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Further, the exploitation of children in the sex and drug trades continues to be a problem. Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for child trafficking victims. Girls are trafficked into Pakistan, primarily from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, Nepal, and Central Asia, for the purposes of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. Girls are also trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation and other types of exploitative labor.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 October 2003

[accessed 15 December 2010]

[74] In view of the fact that child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children are reported to be serious problems in the State party, the Committee is concerned that the State party has not addressed them effectively.  The Committee is particularly concerned at: (a) The absence of legislation clearly prohibiting child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and the lack of a clear definition of the term in the State party, as well as the lack of legislation that clearly defines sexual consent; (b) The absence of measures to prosecute the perpetrators; (c) The absence of statistics and data on the issue of child sexual abuse; (d) Traditional attitudes regarding the subject (e.g. concepts like “family honor”), which imply that a majority of abuse cases go unreported; (e) Reports that child sexual abuse is prevalent, and increasing, in prisons.

The ‘Working Girls Of Quetta’ – Children

Shahid Qazi and Carol Grisanti, NBC News, Quetta Pakistan, 24 March 2009

[accessed 30 June 2011]

The 11-year-old girl blushed as she walked into the car dealer’s showroom on Quetta’s Adalat Road in southwest Pakistan. Her 17-year-old cousin, eyes fixed to the ground, followed her. When the younger girl asked the owner for five rupees (6 cents), he pointed to the back room and told both girls to follow him.

POVERTY INCREASES PROBLEM - Fathers often send their young daughters out on the streets to earn money for the family. The girls begin by begging – some as young as 3-years old – and as they grow older, they become part of the flourishing sex trade in this deeply conservative city in southwest Pakistan.   "The fathers of these girls are usually drug addicts or alcoholics and the family is impoverished," said Fauzia Baloch, a coordinator for the Aurat Foundation, an NGO that works for women’s rights in rural Pakistan.

Male prostitution, a hidden shame: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Fawad Ali Shah, Daily Times, Karachi, January 13, 2009\01\13\story_13-1-2009_pg12_9

[accessed 30 June 2011]

The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) Regional Promotion Manager Salam Dharejo, told Daily Times that although there are many organisations working in the city for the protection of children and women’s rights, no one has ever dared to address the issue of male prostitution because of the strong social taboo attached to it.

While most the city remains shut to the idea of male prostitution, many young men have become its victims. One such boy is Riaz Khan, 19. He is often seen standing at the footpath between the boundary of Jahangir Park and Dr Daudpota road, looking for customers. On a usual day in the business, the roads are jammed and the nearby shops are packed with clients. On Khan’s left, a barber works, unaware of his surroundings and on his right many other teenage boys are lined up, waiting for customers.   “I started this business when I was 11,” says the clean-shaved boy, wearing black clothes with embroidery on the front. He has a womanish touch to his voice. His hands are running through his hair. After completing his sentence, he winks.   Riaz is one the hundreds of teenagers who provide sexual satisfaction to homosexuals. Nowadays, Jahangir Park is where all the action goes down and it can also be referred to as the central point of their business. Most of the teenaged male prostitutes start their business in the afternoon and the dealing reaches its peak in the evening.

Woman jailed for forcing child into sex trade

Independent Online (IOL) News, Dushanbe, November 5 2004

[accessed 15 December 2010]

Last week a non-governmental organisation said there was a growing trend in the abduction and sale of Tajik boys for sexual exploitation abroad.  The Modar organisation said groups in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries were prepared to pay as much as $70 000 for a Tajik boy between the ages of 10 and 12.

Incidents of child abuse rarely reported

Irfan Aligi, Daily Times, KARACHI, November 04, 2008\11\04\story_4-11-2008_pg12_11

[accessed 30 June 2011]

“We have conducted a study on violence against street children and the data we have collected is quite shocking, and what is most appalling is that children studying at religious seminaries also fall victim to sexual violence,” claimed Habib. He added that it is common practice amongst parents, especially from the lower strata of the society, prefer to send their children to Madressahs as compared to formal schooling systems.

According to the study, 21 percent of Madressah students have been sexually abused by their teachers. Fifty-two percent of students were sexually harassed, 28 percent had complained of unpleasant touching and 20 percent complained of forced sex, said Habib.

Almost ninety percent of sexually violent acts against children occur on the streets, seven percent of the children denied any sexual abuse on the streets and three percent of these children had no idea about any such happenings. Thirty-three percent of the children who were sexually abused on the streets revealed that they were abused by people in police departments, while 22 percent of them held workers of political, social and religious parties responsible, claimed Habib.

This is not the end of the shocking list, as shopkeepers, strangers, gang leaders, private security guards and drivers were also held responsible for sexual violence. Twenty percent of the children reported that 20 percent of strangers, 12 percent of shopkeepers, 11 percent of gang leaders, 14 percent of private security guards and 22 percent drivers were among the perpetuators of sexual violence against them. sccp

Child abuse mushrooming as shops offering ‘services’ spring up

Qadeer Hussain, The News International, Karachi, November 01, 2008

[accessed 30 June 2011]

Tauqeer went to school for a while but soon developed a habit of running away from home. In the beginning, he started selling tissue papers at Sea View and earned Rs100 to Rs120 daily.  However, two years ago, one of his friends, Naveed (not his real name) asked him to visit Jahangir Park, near the Pedestrian Bridge, (which does not exist now), “to earn more money.”  According to Tauqeer, the world of the Pedestrian Bridge “was altogether a different world.” This was the meeting point for male child prostitutes and their clients.

According to Tauqeer, more than 300 children are engaged in this area alone. “There are two categories of children involved. A majority are street children who earn their livelihood through this mean. Then there are kids who belong to poor families and visit the bridge to earn some extra money,” he says. sccp

SPARC issues child abuse statistics

Ali Usman, Daily Times, Lahore, August 28, 2008\08\28\story_28-8-2008_pg7_39

[accessed 30 June 2011]

PROSTITUTION - The report, ”State of Pakistan’s Children”, presented the situation of children and their rights in 2007. It focused on health, education, child labour and violence against children in light of the government’s policy. The report identified the poor state of education in Pakistan. It also revealed the phenomenon of male child prostitution, and claimed that it was widespread, especially in big cities and near bus and train stations. “Although the National Plan of Action to Combat Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children had been approved in 2006, co-ordinated policies and programmes to deal with the hazard have yet to be implemented,” it said.

Caring for children

The News International, January 28, 2008

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 30 June 2011]

The rise in incidents of street crime in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan has been the subject of a report released this week by a local NGO. What the report highlights is the growing number of street children involved in this activity. This is cause for alarm. There has been a significant rise in the number of street children, particularly in Karachi says the report adding that the reasons for children running away from their homes include domestic violence, sexual abuse and corporal punishment at schools, especially madressahs. This is an issue that has to be dealt in a proactive manner. It may be noted that street children end up joining gangs which offer them protection in return for working on the streets. The gangs force the children into prostitution and crime. There has been a rise in child prostitution in the cities as a consequence of this.  Also, incidents of petty crime have also risen as children are forced to beg, steal and borrow to retain their gang membership. Many of the children also turn to drugs and other substance abuse which only complicates the problem. sccp

Pakistan: poverty forces trafficking of children on the rise

U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Lahore

[accessed 13 March 2015]

While boys in impoverished parts of rural Pakistan, particularly towns in the southern Punjab, are more likely to be trafficked overseas, girls are trafficked more often within the country, and sometimes sold into what amounts to little more than sexual slavery, says the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

HRCP has reported that in most cases, they are given away for amounts of money ranging from US$1,300 to $5,000 by impoverished parents, sometimes in "marriage"; and sometimes to agents who promise lucrative jobs as domestic servants in large cities.

Many of these girls, according to child rights groups, end up as sex workers. Some are no older than 10 at the time of the "sale".

"Hundreds of girls are trafficked within the country each year. There are markets in the North West Frontier Province where these victims are sold like cattle," I.A. Rehman, director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said. htcp

9,000 sexually-abused street-children in City

[accessed 17 September 2011]

UNICEF Programme Officer Shamshad Qureshi announced the results of a UNICEF survey that there are 10, 000 street children in Lahore, out of which 9,000 children have been sexually abused. He said UNICET could reach only 3,000 sexually abused children and rehabilitate them by giving them vocational training, psychological aid and financial support to their parents. sccp

Horrific fate awaits children spurned by society

Aroosa Masroor Khan, The News, Karachi, February 22, 2007

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

[accessed 17 September 2011]

Out of the approximately 12,000-14,000 street children in Karachi, 50 percent fall victim to commercial sex exploitation, a majority of them being male children between 7-11 years of age. According to data recently revealed by NGO Azad Foundation, the number of street children in the city rose from 10,000 - 12,000 in 2004 to 12,000 - 14,000 in 2006.

She said that street children are at a high risk of sexual abuse, targeted primarily because they are vulnerable. Consequently, some children begin to offer sexual services to these people and become involved in ‘survival sex’.

“Saddar is the hub of street children from all areas of Karachi,” says Aqsa Zainab of Azad Foundation, adding that child abusers are mostly found near shrines where ‘langar’ is distributed or near railway stations where they arrive from other cities. It is from here the young boys are kidnapped and sold as commercial sex workers. htsccp

Children at risk

Syed Mohammad Ali, Daily Times, December 12, 2006\12\12\story_12-12-2006_pg3_5

[accessed 30 June 2011]

Families play a direct role in promoting child prostitution as well. Particularly within families themselves involved in sex work, the guilt factor is deployed to chide young girls into the profession, as if their sexual activity were vital for the survival of their female-headed households. Girls who enter the profession do often end up supporting their own mothers, grandmothers and several siblings. It is no wonder that young girls are considered an economic asset within a family of sex workers. Personal decisions to enter prostitution, albeit emerging from a larger process of socialisation, also cannot be discounted. Families of young sex workers do not think their daughters capable of doing anything else. They deprive them of education and exposure to the larger world, so that these young girls hardly have any other options in life. Social ostracisation of such families further reinforces this generational perpetuation of prostitution.

On the flip side is the demand for under-age sex workers. Seemingly oblivious to a term like paedophilia, clients can boisterously demand to have sex with a young girl, provided they have the required money to pay for her services. Instead of feeling guilty, these clients are reassured by myths of male virility being boosted due to sex with younger girls.

Indo-Pak girls forced into prostitution

Hindustan Times, Asian News International, Lahore, February 6, 2006

[accessed 15 December 2010]

In a startling case of organised women trafficking that has come to light, Pakistani and Indian girls aged between 11 and 13 are being smuggled to the Middle East countries for being forced into prostitution there. The girls, who are shown as aged between 20 and 22 on their passports, are brought to these countries on the pretext of getting them attracting jobs. htcp

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – PAKISTAN – Another study was conducted this year in Pakistan. The NGO Coalition on Child Rights NWFP Pakistan released its research on ‘Community Perceptions about Male Child Sex Abuse in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan’. The research shows that there is a high prevalence of boys involving in CSEC in northwest Pakistan, and suggests that it is time that the government take this problem more seriously.

Child Prostitution Flourishes In Peshawar

The Hindustan Times, Peshawar, July 11, 2005

[partially accessed 30 June 2011 - access restricted]

Children continue to serve as prostitutes in Pakistan's Peshawar city despite raids and a strict vigil by the police.

Ashraf said since the police couldn't catch the arrested men red-handed, it could not book them under clauses relevant to prostitution. A court released the suspects.   "Unless the suspects are caught red-handed, they cannot be charged under section 377 of the Pakistan Penal Code relating to unnatural offences," he said.

Political Executions, Child Prostitution, and Forced Marriage at the Age of 9: Ms Zadeh talks on the lack of human rights in Iran and the urgency to put geopolitics to one side

Contributors: Sebastian Zielinski (CONGO), April 11, 2005 -- Commission on Human Rights, Sixty-first session 14 March - 22 April 2005

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

[accessed 30 June 2011]

Child prostitution has risen 635 percent in recent years. Dozens of Iranian girls are brought to Karachi, Pakistan, to be sold as sex slaves every day.

Child Prostitution

[access information unavailable]

Despite the verbal commitments of all the governments of past and present no measures have been taken against the child prostitution and nothing has been achieved in that direction. Prostitution by children continues to flourish unhindered.

Child Rights

Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child SPARC

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

[accessed 30 June 2011]

SPARC AT THE PRE-SESSIONAL WORKING GROUP OF THE 34TH SESSION - On October 31, 2001, Pakistan signed the Optional Protocol to the UN CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and Optional Protocol on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Taking the Lid Off Child Prostitution

Mine Aysen Doyran, 28 Nov 2000

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

[accessed 30 June 2011]

There is hardly any day without a customer.  His usual clients are travelers changing buses at Rawalpindi or policemen and bus drivers.  His work is usually over by midnight, when he goes home with at least 100 rupees (less than two U.S. dollars) in his pocket.

Girls are usually forced into prostitution when they are about 11 years old because their young age fetches a good price to the traffickers.

Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health in Pakistan [PDF]

Ayesha Khan, Consultant, and Pamela Pine, Futures Group, POLICY Project, March 2003

[accessed 30 June 2011]

Ch.3 ARH issues/Sexual abuse and forced sex work/page 21 MALE CHILD PROSTITUTION - In Pakistan, male prostitutes are believed to be cheaper for clients than female prostitutes.  The prime age for male prostitutes is between 15 and 25.  It is likely that even less is known about their working environment and specific problems because the social taboos against boys admitting to sex with male clients are even greater than they are for girls.

Changing Attitudes Key to Ending Child Sex Trade

Johanna Son, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, MANILA, 23 January 1995

[accessed 30 June 2011]

Up to 200,000 women and children are sold into servitude in Pakistan each year, many abducted in Bangladesh and sold for sex.




ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - PAKISTAN [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2006

[accessed 30 June 2011]

A report published in 2001 by the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD) revealed the existence of child prostitution in Pakistan, the first official admission of this violation of children’s rights in the country. According to the report, both girls and boys are victims of prostitution. For example, in some parts of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), which borders Afghanistan, older, wealthy men “keep” young boys for sexual gratification, while girls from the poorest areas of the country are being taken by organised rings to clandestine brothels in large cities. Most of the girls prostituted in Punjab Province come from the NWFP or from Afghan refugee camps there, and seem to be forced into prostitution when they are in their early teens.

Research undertaken in 2005 by the Working Group against Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and Save the Children Sweden indicated that nomad children, children inthe transport industry, children working in deep-sea fishing, children trafficked for camel jockeying, girls trafficked for marriage, “massage boys” and boys with alternate sexual identities are all to be found among the victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Pakistan. The research also indicated that the sexual exploitation of children occurs in many contexts, including in the red light district of Lahore, at some religious shrines and in schools.

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

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Child abuse was widespread. According to child rights NGOs, abuse was most common within families. In rural areas, poor parents sold children as bonded laborers and at times sold daughters to be raped by landlords.

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 - Pakistan",, [accessed <date>]