(qCOSTARICA) In less than a month, a 17-year-old girl had been found working (prostituting herself) the streets of San Jose by municipal police officials, who authorities say she is a victim of commercial sexual exploitation.
According to authorities, the minor has a baby girl only few months old.
The Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) – child welfare service – says the girl has no parents and is in the custody of a maternal aunt. In the first intervention the girl gave authorities information, allowing the PANI to contact the adult caregivers and give her advice on the risks involved with street prostitution. In the second intervention the minor provided false information, while in the third she was fully identified and PANI’s priority will now be towards the infant as the young girl turns 18 in the coming days.
The director of the Municipal Police (Policía Municipal de San José), Marcelo Solano, said at night police patrol the areas known for prostitution and sexual exploitation, such as the Morazan park.
Solano says that police resources are used to curb the presence of minor prostitures on the downtown streets of capital.
According to Solano, the minor says she is on the streets because of extreme poverty and family needs, working as a prostitute to provide for her family.
In Costa Rica prostitution is not illegal (pimping is) and for the most part prostitutes work indoors, in bars, hotels, etc.
Typically prostitutes working the streets (outdoors) are minors, women with problems that won’t allow them to work indoors at establishments friendly to “working girls”, and transvestites.