Research on prostituted children

The issue of child prostitution in our country has several grey areas, mainly due to the fact that the numbers seem to be growing but are in fact ‘denied’ and under-reported. In order to raise awareness of this reality, in terms of the sexual exploitation of minors, research on the recovery and care of prostituted minors was carried out by the National Centre in 2006.

This is an investigative study aimed at following the evolution and outcome of minors’ experience as victims of prostitution, in order to broaden our understanding of it, but above all to contribute to the discussion that has been intensifying in recent years about the protection and recovery of children and adolescents who are victims of sexual exploitation. The research activity focused on both social and judicial aspects, and was carried out with the invaluable assistance of the organisations and associations that work with prostituted minors, and of the courts. The investigation into the interventions and practices used to rehabilitate prostituted minors and the legal research in the courts were carried out in eight different areas of the country. The social research, conducted through semi-structured interviews with key witnesses, collected 90 highly valuable testimonies that help trace the possible exit path taken by those affected. Finally, in the judicial field, the information gathered from magistrates who have been confronted with and experienced child prostitution cases in recent years provided insight into how cases are handled and managed.