ZAMBIA: Sex work rife among street children
Johannesburg, 12 September 2003 (IRIN) - A child protection NGO in Zambia has expressed concern over a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on commercial sex work and AIDS among street children.
The report, "HIV/AIDS and Child Labour in Zambia: A Rapid Assessment", said commercial sex work had become increasingly common among children aged 14 to 16, putting them at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Merab Keremire, director of the Movement of Community Action for the Prevention and Protection of Young People Against Poverty, Destitution, Diseases and Exploitation (MAPODE), said while the practice was "a completely new thing" the findings of the report were still shocking.
According to the report, condoms were rarely used [during sexual intercourse], since the children lacked the capability to negotiate safer sex.
"When we educate them about the danger of HIV/AIDS, they tell us AIDS is something in the future. Their hunger is a more real and pressing need," Keremire told the UN news service PlusNews.
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]