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May 24, 2006

South Africa's booming, violent child sex trade

An excellent expose written by Karyn Maughan in South Africa's periodical, The Star: Child sex trade scandal
Children as young as 9 are selling their bodies on the streets of Joburg for R30 ($4.50 US) --and child rights groups say the situation is "exploding".

In a series of interviews with child sex workers, streetchildren, clinic staff and community workers, The Star has uncovered that the commercial sexual exploitation of boys and girls is booming.

[...] [In] another incident about six months before, the friends of a teenage sex worker watched with growing horror as a luxury car pulled up outside a Hillbrow hotel and pushed her limp body out onto the street.

She was dead, with a knife protruding from her vagina. The teenager was never identified.

[...] Trawling the malls where many schoolchildren spent their afternoons and weekends, [criminal syndicates --.ed] would seek out teenagers who "had the look of want" in their eyes, Stevens said.

Community worker Elaine Johannes said: "They will start to talk to the child who is staring at a pair of Levi's, saying 'those jeans are cool, hey?' Then maybe they arrange to meet the child later on, buy them clothes and cellphones, take them out clubbing a few times without doing anything.

"They will try to get the child hooked on drugs, and after he or she is addicted, they'll demand the money for the clothes and drugs. It is then that the child gets forced into sex for money."
Thanks to Sarah G. of Captive Daughters for the story.

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