Skip to content

Sierra Leone teenage girl sell sex for mobile phones

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/7/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Important status symbol in impoverished African nation leads to many poor decisions

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest nations on Earth. Located on the African continent, which already roils with starvation, political instability and uprisings, Sierra Leone stands out for its lack of economic and social development. Mobile phones for this country's young are important status symbols, so much so that teenage girls gladly prostitute themselves in order to have one.

A mobile phone in Sierra Leone is a status symbol -- that for teenage girls, comes at a very steep price.

A mobile phone in Sierra Leone is a status symbol -- that for teenage girls, comes at a very steep price.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/7/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Sierra Leone, mobile phones, teenage girls, prostitution


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These desperate measures by these girls put them at increased risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, a study by Save the Children says.       

"Mobile phones represent everything that an adolescent associates with being young, hip and fashionable. They are part and parcel of the idea of what they want to become, and to get them they engage in risky sexual behavior," Krystle Lai, the research author says.

Find out how you can fill the gaps to end world hunger - by going here!

"Young girls are driven to seek older, richer men who can afford to buy them mobile phones, but the economic power in these relationships is unbalanced and influences the bargaining power of using a condom," Lai adds.

Once the more destitute girls own a phone, the maintenance and top up may mean they have to continue selling their bodies.

The research conducted in Freetown, the nation's capital appears to reflect a wider global trend. The report said there was growing evidence that the demand for mobile phones was among the key drivers for young girls in low-income countries to engage in prostitution.

Freetown girls use prostitution, or transactional sex to buy fashionable clothes, good exam results, known locally as "sexually transmitted grades" and even food.

The girls often have different partners to meet different needs. "One girl at school was in love with three boys. One of them did her (school) assignments, one would buy her clothes, and the other one bought her phone and other things like money. One man won't do," one girl told researchers.

Using the local lexicon, an "old pa" can be over 50 years old, the "big man" is 25 to 50 years old and then there are the young guys who the girls are actually attracted to, the report said.

One girl told researchers: "The 'old pa' ask . the girls to just touch them but usually no sex. The 'big men' ask for everything ."

While fathers in Sierra Leone came down hard on these solicitations, mothers were often fully aware of their daughter's activities and chose to ignore them, or even encourage them.

"If there is nothing at home, the mother will ask the girl to go out and 'find something.' This word is very common in the community. If your mother says this, you know what she means," one girl said.

Lai says punishing mothers is not the answer. Its sex offenders who should be penalized.

"Sex offenses must be punished to the full extent of the law, which says anybody aged under 18 years is a child, and identifies any form of sexual relationship with a child as an offense warranting five to 15 years imprisonment."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2017
Parishes.
That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.


Comments


More Africa

Why have ONE MILLION South Sudanese people entered Uganda? Watch

Image of The tally of South Sudanese refugees entering Uganda hits one million (Photo by: Al Jazeera)

The tally of South Sudanese refugees entering Uganda for shelter and safety marked 1 million this week, in what is now the world's fastest ... continue reading


Massive mudslide in Sierra Leone impacts 9,000 people, Catholic Relief Services, Red Cross, aiding survivors Watch

Image of Flooding has caused a massive in Sierra Leone which has killed hundreds of people.

A massive mudslide in Sierra Leone's capital city has left hundreds dead and thousands homeless, with relief agencies hurrying to respond. ... continue reading


Bloody massacre at St. Philip's Catholic Church leaves at least 11 dead Watch

Image of This deadly massacre has left many wondering why them.

At least 11 people are dead after a gunman opened fire during Mass at the St. Philip Catholic Church in southeastern Nigeria early Sunday. ... continue reading


Two Catholic priests kidnapped after violent attack by 10 assailants Watch

Image of The Democratic Republic of Congo continues to be faced with extreme violence.

Two Catholic priests were abducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo Sunday night. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Father Charles ... continue reading


'Half-Man-Half-Beast sent by the Devil' sparks fear in South African village (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Image of A deformed stillborn lamb has caused a surge of fear in a South African village.

A sheep in South Africa has given birth to what the village elders are calling a "half-human-half-beast sent by the devil." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.