It is estimated that there are around 45,000 prostituted children in South Africa (Daily Maverick, March 16, 2017). 63% of South African children live below the poverty line, which puts them at a high risk for sexual exploitation (UNICEF South Africa Media Centre, November 22, 2016). Orphans and children from single-parent families are the most vulnerable. Sex tourism significantly affects South African children. Many sex tourists come from Europe and the United States, but the majority of child sex offenders are South African. Due to the high poverty rate, it is not uncommon for parents to sell their children to buyers who often turn out to be procurers or traffickers who force the children into prostitution. Some procurers give 2,000 to 3,000 rands (ZAR) (EUR 126-189) to a community to make it seem as though they are trying to help the children. Families in the community, hoping to save some children from their impoverished environment, will subsequently entrust some of them to these criminals. Police and customs officers are often complicit in these crimes, allowing children to cross the border illegally, unaccompanied by a parent or guardian in exchange for a bribe, allowing brothels to continue their activities, or failing to respond to complaints.

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