No.175 Sexual Exploitation of Trafficked Children: Evidence from Bangladesh

  • #Working Papers

Although human trafficking is a serious humanitarian problem of global scale, there is very little knowledge about the issue. Using a nationally representative survey of child sex workers in Bangladesh, this study examines the extent to which trafficking victims are forced to expend more effort than non-trafficked sex workers. To control for endogeneity of trafficking victimization, we use frequency of natural disasters occurred in their hometown as an instrumental variable.

We find that the victims face higher exposure to violence and drug use, and lower freedom to quit the job. They also trade sex with more clients at a lower wage. However, victimization is not associated with condom use or prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases. These results suggest that while owners commit violence to extract the victims’ efforts, some of them also maintain the victims’ productivity.

Keywords: human trafficking; commercial sex worker; worst form of child labor; forced labor; Bangladesh

Masahiro Shoji, Kenmei Tsubota
Date of issuance
June 2018
Related areas
  • #Asia
  • #Poverty Reduction
Research area
Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction
Research project