Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Bureau of International Labor Affairs

ILAB Press Release: Labor Department Releases Report On Child Prostitution As A Form Of Forced Labor [04/23/1996]

For more information call: (202) 208-4843

The U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs today released its first-ever publication about the use of children in the commercial sex industry around the world. "Forced child prostitution is forced labor and child labor in their most exploitative forms," said Joaquin F. Otero, deputy under secretary for international affairs.

The publication, entitled Forced Labor: The Prostitution of Children contains the proceedings from a symposium held at the Department of Labor in September 1995. The symposium focused on the forced trafficking and prostitution of young children, mostly girls, in the profitable commercial sex industry. Forced Labor includes a keynote address by Representative Joseph P. Kennedy, sponsor of the 1994 Child Sex Abuse Prevention Act, and reports by internationally recognized experts on children's rights and child prostitution.

The report and symposium are part of the department's international child labor project, in existence for over two years, to research and report on the exploitation of child labor in all its forms. Two major reports were issued in 1994 and 1995, entitled By the Sweat and Toil of Children: The Use of Child Labor in U.S. Manufacturing and Mining Imports and By the Sweat and Toil of Children: The Use of Child Labor in U.S. Agricultural Imports and Forced and Bonded Child Labor.

"The goal of the symposium and this publication is to focus public attention on the issue of child prostitution as a problem of international dimensions. As we look forward to the Stockholm World Congress on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children this August, we hope that the proceedings from this important symposium will make a contribution to the ongoing international discussions and action towards the elimination of child sexual exploitation," said Otero.

The congress is the first international meeting held for the specific purpose of developing strategies to fight commercial sexual exploitation of children. It is being organized by the Government of Sweden in cooperation with UNICEF, End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT), and the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In August 1995, the Department of Labor signed an agreement with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to contribute funds to the ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor. One of the major programs supported by the department helps children at risk of exploitation in Thailand's sex industry.

Copies of Forced Labor: the Prostitution of Children are available free of charge from: International Child Labor Study Office, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-1308, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210 Tel: (202) 208-4843 Fax: (202) 219-4923.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
April 23, 1996
Media Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number