How COVID-19 Led To Increased Child Prostitution In Nasarawa Community

Residents of Masaka in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state are raising alarm over increased child prostitution in their area since the Coronavirus lockdown began.

Some of the residents who spoke to Media Advocacy West Africa Foundation (MAWA Foundation), said the economic crisis and hardship the Coronavirus brought on the people are forcing parents to push their kids into prostitution.

Mrs. Obudu, while speaking to MAWA at Masaka, said the children are between the ages of 13 and 15.

“Their parents push them into prostitution so they can raise money and feed the family,” Obudu said.

Rachael, a 14-year-old girl who spoke to MAWA in a popular beer parlour in Masaka, said she sleeps with men so she can raise money and feed.

She however denied engaging in prostitution but said she sleeps with at least five men a day.

Asked how much she makes, she said each of the men she sleeps with pays her between N1,500 to N2,000 while she makes an average of N10,000 daily.

Rachael said she was pushed into prostitution as a result of economic hardships brought by the Coronavirus pandemic.

She, however, said her father lost his job to Coronavirus lockdown and since then things have become too difficult for her and her siblings.

A reason she said forced her into prostitution.

Rachael explained that she has three siblings while the family now relies on her to make money before they can eat.

“I am sleeping with men to raise money and feed my family, my father lost his job to Coronavirus and my mom is very sick,” Rachael said.

Jennifer while narrating the incident, told MAWA that what is happening in Masaka since Coronavirus began is amazing and shocking.

She explained that the children who are now into serious prostitution businesses are so aggressive that they do not have the patient to wait for men to ask them out, rather they will approach them for sex.

MAWA observed that in some major joints in Masaka, at night, there are children between the ages of 13 to 15 hovering around as sex workers.

At about five of them spoken to, claimed they were forced into prostitution because of Coronavirus.

Some say their family relies on them to feed, others say they are just doing it to take care of themselves.

Please note the picture not real, used for an illustration.

This report is supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa OSIWA 

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