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On-line version ISSN 2007-7858Print version ISSN 2007-7521


IZCARA-PALACIOS, Simón Pedro; MORAL-DE-LA-RUBIA, José  and  ANDRADE-RUBIO, Karla Lorena. Country of origin and age at entry into prostitution among Central American women smuggled in Mexico and the United States. CienciaUAT [online]. 2017, vol.12, n.1, pp.70-83. ISSN 2007-7858.

The United States Department of State indicates that minors from Central America are carried by sex trafficking networks to Mexico and the United States to be employed in prostitution; however, there is no data regarding the age of onset of these minors in this activity. The objective of this paper was to determine the countries where Central American women smuggled to the United States through Mexico have been prostituted, in order to establish the age at which these women began prostitution activities in each country. One hundred and ninety interviews were carried out with Central American women, procurers and Mexican smugglers participating in human sex trafficking networks in Central America, Mexico and the United States. Results indicate that Central American women transported by human sex trafficking networks initiate prostitution mostly in the United States, around 18 years old on average. In addition, the average age of engagement in prostitution for the first time in the United States is significantly lower than the average age in Mexico. We conclude that the sexual exploitation of minors from Central America in adult entertainment establishments is apparently higher in the United States than in Mexico. This could be associated with a greater economic capacity of US customers, which motivates human traffickers to bring to this market underage girls.

Keywords : prostitution; human sex trafficking networks; Central America; Mexico; United States.

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