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Modern party culture in Estonia includes child prostitution

Posted on May 14, 2013

With a population of 1.27 million, Estonia is one of the least-populous members of the European Union (EU). Estonia is also the wealthiest of the 15 former Soviet Republics and now has the highest GDP growth rate in Europe. Since 1990, Estonia has been steadily climbing on the Human Development Index scale and was ranked 34th out of 187 countries reviewed in 2011. Despite an increase in overall living standards, one in five children are affected by poverty in Estonia. Gender inequality within the workforce is also prominent and this persistent gender-based discrimination, exacerbated by low wages and a lack of professional opportunities, is a main causal factor for child trafficking in Estonia. Further inequalities are found within the Russian population. Approximately 80 percent of prostitutes in Estonia are Russian speaking and many are victims of trafficking. One study found that one third of all Russian speaking girls surveyed had been invited, at some point, to engage in prostitution. Another survey found that children in Estonia have a relatively tolerant attitude towards child prostitution and a high percentage of teens admitted to providing sex for some form of remuneration. The phenomenon of weekend prostitution also exists among young girls. Research suggests that this form of casual prostitution has become part of modern party culture in large cities. To understand more about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Estonia, you can read the full report here.