U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Youth Prostitution: A Literature Review

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 11 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2002 Pages: 230-251
Linda Cusick
Margaret A. Lynch, David Gough
Date Published
July 2002
22 pages
This article conducts an academic literature review on young people involved in prostitution relative to the guidance, Safeguarding Children Involved in Prostitution, issued by the British Department of Health marking a developmental thinking about children, prostitution, and the policies and practices in relation to them.
In 2000, the guidance, Safeguarding Children Involved in Prostitution was issued for England and Wales, by the Department of Health as a supplementary guidance to Working Together to Safeguard Children issued in 1999. It was issued as a guidance for an interagency approach by the police, health, social services, education, and other agencies working with children where there were concerns of their involvement in prostitution. This article sets out to review the academic literature on young people involved in prostitution relative to this guidance. It explores the prevalence and aetiology of youth prostitution and links with drug use and criminal careers. Safeguarding Children identifies ways in which young people’s prostitution may be discovered, such as relationships with older people, absences from home or school, drug misuse, sexually transmitted infections, or requests for contraception. Throughout the literature, service harmonization is recommended as the way forward for all professionals working with young people at high risk for involvement in prostitution. The literature addresses the difficult process of exiting the world of prostitution. It outlines the steps in process models, recommending principles for action to decrease youth vulnerability. The focus is on prevention and alleviation at the individual level, reducing youth economic hardship. References