Trafficking and prostitution

  • The UK is a significant site of international and internal child trafficking. The vast majority of trafficked children in the UK are aged 14-17, with many girls trafficked for sexual abuse and exploitation. (Strategic Threat Assessment: Child Trafficking in the UK, CEOP, 2009)
  • Only 19% of women working as prostitutes in flats, parlours and saunas are originally from the UK (The Poppy Project, Sex in the City: Mapping Commercial Sex Across London, 2004).
  • 80,000 women work in ‘on-street’ prostitution in the UK. The average age women become involved being just 12yrs old (Home Office, Paying the Price. A consultation paper on prostitution, 2004).
  • 3 out of 4 women in prostitution become involved aged 21 or younger, and 1 in 2 aged 18 or younger (Child & Woman Abuse Studies Unit)
  • As many as 85% women in prostitution report physical abuse in the family, with 45% reporting familial sexual abuse (Paying the Price).
  • 75% of children abused through prostitution had been missing from school (Paying the Price).
  • 87% of women in street-based prostitution use heroin (M. Hester and N. Westmarland, Tackling Street Prostitution: Towards an Holistic Approach, Home Office Research Study 279, London, 2004).
  • 8.9% of men in London aged 16-44 reported having paid for sex in the past 5 years (Paying the Price).
  • In the UK as many as 60 women involved in prostitution have been murdered in the last 10 years (Home Office, Paying the Price: A consultation paper on prostitution, 2004).