Child prostitution is illegal throughout the country (Fondation Scelles, 2016). According to some estimates, there are about 22,000 minors forced into prostitution in Mexico City. However, the actual number is likely higher (Mexico News Daily, June 20, 2017). Prostituted minors are more exposed than adults to violence and the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission: 5.9% of minors are infected with HIV/AIDS compared to only 1.5% of adults (Journal of the American Medical Association, August 4, 2015). There are different routes into prostitution for minors: parents sell their daughters to traffickers or, more frequently procurers seduce young girls. A procurer offers to help her get to the USA or to marry her. The procurer convinces her to leave her family and go with him, but will then either force her into prostitution or sell her to another person who will. Migrant minors, often isolated, fleeing violence and poverty in countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are at a very high risk for being trafficked and forced into prostitution. Traffickers promise to smuggle them into the USA, but instead force them into prostitution in Mexico. Child sex tourism is very prevalent in some cities such as Tijuana, where there is a demand for underage boys and girls. Nevertheless, in the eyes of sex buyers and procurers, the majority of these young girls are not seen as “prostituted children”, but simply as “prostituted persons”.

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