The study explored the characteristics of child prostitution in a major city in the West African region. A convenience sample of children in prostitution, specifically girls below age 18 (n = 243), were recruited in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. A survey instrument was used to explore various variables including profile of children in prostitution, factors of vulnerability to prostitution; prostitution practices, compensations and related issues in child prostitution. The findings show that most children in prostitution in the city were from two countries that do not share borders.  Most native respondents practiced prostitution for survival and to support their families. In contrast, all the respondents from Nigeria practiced prostitution as victims of international sex trafficking. A key finding was that the majority of the children in prostitution surveyed were educated. Among the respondents, there were similarities in the major life events that contributed to their situation of prostitution. These life events include early separation with parents, sexual abuse, foster care, and forced marriage. Implications for policy, practice and research are discussed.


Outline/Structure of the Original Research




Participant Selection

Data Collection and Analysis

Human Subject Protection

Study Limitations


Respondent Demographics

Family Environment

Factors of Vulnerability to Prostitution

Prostitution Practices



Learning Outcome

Develop an international perspective about child prostitution

Learn about ways social and cultural environments impacts child prostitution

Learn about factors of vulnerability to child prostitution in a developing country

Learn about strategies to conduct research with the hard-to-reach population of prostituted children

Learn about the relationship between education and prostitution

Learn about issues to consider in developing alternatives job opportunities for prostituted children

Target Audience

professionals working with child victims of commercial sexual exploitation or any participant interested in the issue of child prostitution

schedule Submitted 7 years ago

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