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Fiji Time: 4:20 PM on Tuesday 23 September

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Girls operate sex network

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A STUDY on a study on commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and child sexual abuse (CSA) has revealed a schoolgirl-operated prostitution network.

In an unobtrusive observation, a study on commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and child sexual abuse (CSA) took the research team to high risk areas such as night clubs, bars, hotels and a marina.

A motel worker said: "A network of young girls involved in prostitution operates out of a motel in which I work. How this network works is that if a client wants young girls when they come to the motel, then they tell the receptionist what kind of girl they want and come back the next day. In the meantime the receptionist will get in touch with whichever one of the girls closely match the description. Contact is made on the girl's mobile phone. The girl will come into town the next day, change out of her school uniform then come up to the motel to wait for her client."

Girls in uniform have also been sighted on foreign boats and two nightclubs in Suva are known to be frequented by underage children.

Bouncers and bartenders provided information to the team about how young girls entered clubs with older patrons with the understanding they would exchange sex for drinks. The report said Fiji laws prohibited those under 18 to enter nightclubs but owners generally do not follow this requirement.

"Such is the demand for teenage girls that the team was informed of a network of teenage girls working out of a well known Suva motel that also serves as a brothel. This motel is allegedly owned by a local businessman," the report said.

"Based on findings of the research team, it was discovered that brothels such as these were also found in Nadi. The research team, in its interviews with the prostitution victims in Suva discovered that 33 per cent of the victims are still in school or from broken homes."

There is general consensus among NGOs working on these issues that the general age of those involved in prostitution is decreasing.

There is also a general consensus that while girls are the predominant group, an increasing number of boys are becoming involved.


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