Child prostitution in sub-Saharan Africa: Bringing back the agenda

Nkhoma, Pearson. 2023. 'Child prostitution in sub-Saharan Africa: Bringing back the agenda'. In: Inaugural Colloquium of the International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) Africa Branch. University of Johannesburg, South Africa 14-15 March 2023. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Globally, there is a growing concern of child slavery. Several countries have introduced measures to help drive concerted effort aimed at eradicating child slavery and supporting of victims. World leaders and businesses committing to end child slavery, the phenomena which categorises some of the worst forms of child exploitation. It is with this commitment that Malawi, for example, introduced the 2010 Child Care, Protection and Justice Act to help safeguard children against exploitation. However, efforts to end child slavery in sub-Saharan Africa has largely been on servitude/child labour (in mines, as well as tea and tobacco estates), child trafficking, and child soldiers – particularly in the DRC. There is limited attention on other extreme forms of child slavery and exploitation such as the involvement of children and young people in prostitution across the region two decades after the passing of the UNCRC’s Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. As a result, very little is known about the involvement of children and young people in child prostitution in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, there is little policy and practice intervention to safeguard children and young people against prostitution. It is this gap that this presentation while drawing on lived experiences of children and young people involved in prostitution from a participatory study conducted in Malawi attempts to address. To offer a nuance understanding of child prostitution in sub-Saharan Africa, this presentation will explore why it is imperatively significant to widen the theoretical lens of making sense of child prostitution through a synthesis of social lens. The paper will further highlight why child prostitution should be brought back on the regional if not the global agenda of development.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Child Prostitution, Child Slavery, Trafficking, Social Inequality, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Capability Approach, Intersectionality, Child Protection

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Centre for Community Engagement Research


28 February 2023Accepted
March 2023Completed

Event Location:

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Date range:

14-15 March 2023

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Dec 2023 13:34

Last Modified:

09 Feb 2024 18:29


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