Friday, June 12, 2009

Zimbabwean girls as young as 12 turning to prostitution for food

Save The Children says that young girls in Zimbabwe are turning to prostitution for food. The girls as young as 12 are selling their bodies for as little as a few cookies.

The charity fears that human traffickers could bring the desperate children to South Africa for next year's World Cup. The children would be used to satisfy the demands of travelers from around the globe who will come to the country for the football event.

From the BBC, reporter Mike Thomson talked to a head teacher of a school who has seen the problem firsthand.

Unemployment in Zimbabwe is thought to top 90% and many cannot afford to pay for food, medical care or school fees.

The deputy head teacher of a large school with 1,500 pupils east of Victoria Falls told the BBC that hundreds of her female students are now selling their bodies for whatever they can get.

"It could be books, it could be biscuits, chips, some even just to be given a hug."

Throughout my conversation with the deputy head, two small teenage girls in threadbare school uniforms sat watching from a brick wall by the playground. Both are orphans.

The older one, who is 14, said she knows many girls here who have become prostitutes.

"I don't want to do that but life is so difficult, so very difficult. Both my parents are dead and I rarely see my two sisters. Recently I stood by the river and I thought about throwing myself in but I didn't. I don't know why."

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