One-Third of Young Prostitutes in Paris No-Go Suburbs Under 15-Years-Old

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Around one-third of young prostitutes in the Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis are under 15, with some as young as just six, according to a local NGO.

The Observatory of violence against women in Seine-Saint-Denis published a study on underage prostitutes Tuesday, looking into 19 court cases in the juvenile court of Bobigny and around forty reports from French child protection services, France 3 reports.

The children in sex work in the controversial neighbourhood ranged from 17 to just six-years-old, with 89 per cent being prior victims of physical abuse and 40 per cent victims of prior sexual abuse, most of the abuse occurring within their own homes. 61 per cent of the mothers of the child sex abuse victims also reported domestic abuse as well.

Ernestine Ronai, head of the NGO, said that the goal of the study was to better understand the path that led to prostitution in order to better protect children in the future.

“The course of these girls’ lives is marked by violence,” Ronai said and noted that the abuse led to failure in school which in turn led to the path to prostitution.

The study also found the important role social media plays in facilitating prostitution, saying 50 per cent of “clients” — abusers — used social media and the internet to approach the children for sexual favours.

The area studied for the report, Seine-Saint-Denis, has achieved a level of notoriety as a prime example of a so-called No Go Zone in France, or what the French government technically labels a Sensitive Urban Zone. It has become so difficult to retain staff to work in public services in the area the government now offers special cash incentives to civil servants not to move away, and the suburb has become synonymous with Islamisation, and often the most radical expressions of the Muslim faith.

Child sexual exploitation in vulnerable communities is not limited to France, however. In Sweden, journalists used the homosexual dating app Grindr while pretending to be a 14-year-old boy named David and found that over 100 adult men messaged the boy for sexual favours.

In another case, journalists claimed to be a 14-year-old girl on a website called “Sugar Daters” and had a man, later revealed to be an employee of Swedish broadcaster SVT, offer to pay the fake account £840 to take her virginity.

Child prostitution is also a major problem in the Netherlands where it was revealed last year that some 1,400 underage girls were forced into sexual slavery per year by migrant-background men. Gideon van Aartsen from Watch Nederland, who works with police to combat child sexual exploitation, said the men were mostly from Moroccan, Turkish or Roma backgrounds and that they earned up to 800 euros per day from the child victims.


Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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