26 Apr 2012

Report reveals growing number of child sex workers in Port Moresby

3:43 pm on 26 April 2012

A report by the International Labour Organisation on child labour in Papua New Guinea's capital shows that a growing number of children are turning to sex work to support themselves.

A total of 404 children up to the age of 18 participated in last year's rapid assessment in Port Moresby on commercial sexual exploitation of children and children working on the streets.

Over 40 percent of the 175 involved in sex work had entered the sex industry before the age of 15 and a small number were as young as 10 when they started work as prostitutes.

The director of the ILO's Pacific Island Countries office, David Lamotte, says the report doesn't try to quanitify the level of child labour in Port Moresby.

"The type of report that we've published is to describe to people that the propblem exists, to make them aware of it, to move beyond what in the early days was, perhaps, you know, two years ago, the denial phase and to move towards recognising there's a need for a national action plan that addresses the topic."

David Lamotte says 40 percent of those interviewed had never been to school.