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Report: Common for troubled teens to sell sex

Updated onsdag 2 mars 2011 kl 16.13
Published tisdag 1 mars 2011 kl 10.08
"Many are introduced to it by their friends"
(4:08 min)
12 percent of the girls and 4 percent of the boys in the study reported that they have had sex in exchange for drugs or money. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix

A number of children and adolescents who have been placed in state run care homes have sold sex or sexual favours, according to a new report by the National Board of Institutional Care.

Of the 567 youngsters questioned, aged between 12 to 19 , thirty eight, that's seven percent, said that they had sold themselves for sex at one time or another in exchange for money or drugs. Some of them were as young as 12-years-old but the average age for when they started selling sex was 15 and a half years-old.

The National Board of Institutional Care (SiS)carried out its investigation during 2010 and asked a sample of those living in the homes if they had ever sold their body for sex and if so, how did they come in contact with those wanting to buy sex, and what did they get in return.

Anita Andersson from SiS told Radio Sweden than many of the youngsters who admitted to selling sex or sexual favours did so with people found through friends.

"The figures are not high compared to previous studies they are the same, but what we got from this survey was information about where they met these persons and what kind of payment they got. many of the youths met these people through friends," Anita Andersson said.

The minister for gender equality, Nyamko Sambuni, told newspaper Dagens Nyheter that she was shocked to hear the findings of the report and said that urgent change is needed.

“The government needs to take more responsibility. Not only to provide care but also support … to remove young people from these types of situations,” she said.

In addition, 515 adults with addiction problems, who have received treatment in state run institutions, answered the question if they had ever sold sex. About 15 percent of the women answered yes and 4 percent of the men.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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