Child Sex Work In Accra: Drivers, Characteristics And Coping Mechanisms

ABSTRACT A study was undertaken in certain locations with contextual factors conducive to the sex trade in the capital city of Ghana; Accra. The areas were as follows: Konkomba market, Agbobloshie, Abuja/CMB, Railways, Dome/St Johns, Madina, Okaishie/druglane, Awoshie/Mangoase, Chorkor and Korle Gonno. The objectives of the study were to investigate the characteristics of child sex workers, examine what drives them into the trade, identify the challenges child sex workers encounter and how they cope with the challenges. A conceptual framework was designed to guide the study and three theories; the Eco Developmental Theory, Lifestyle Exposure Theory and the Resilience Theory were used to guide the study. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used for data collection. The Respondent Driven Sampling methodology was used to collect quantitative data from a sample of 220 child sex workers in investigating the characteristics and drivers of child sex work. In-depth interview guides were used to collect qualitative data from 10 child sex workers to ascertain the challenges they faced and how they coped. Analysis of the quantitative data was done by using descriptive and explanatory analysis, cross tabulations and the binary logistic regression. Thematic network analysis was used for the qualitative data. Various findings were made from their socio-demographic characteristics, reasons for engaging in sex work, challenges they faced and their coping mechanisms among other related factors. Results showed that child sex work was rife in the locations investigated and were within the ages of 12-17 years. Majority of the child sex workers were aged between 15-17 years and are Christians, with the bivariate analysis indicating the second highest religious grouping being Muslims who mostly were among the older adolescents aged between 16-17 years. The child sex workers had very minimal educational attainment with almost 87 percent being school drop-outs. Almost all the child sex workers (97.4%) migrated to practice their trade in the locations sampled. The research showed 96 percent of them lived with either both parents, a parent or a relative prior to engaging in the sex trade. Two types of child sex workers were identified; the seaters who are sedentary at a location and the roamers who solicit for clients on the streets and places where clients might be available. Bivariate analysis indicated the roamers are generally younger than the seaters at ages 15-16 and 12-14 years respectively. They have an average of 4-6 clients a day and earn an average of GHc 108.38 (US$ 27) on a good day. Sexual debut was found to be below the legal age of consent of 16 years in Ghana; first sex was between 12-15 years with first birth between 13-16 years. Childhood poverty was identified as a main driver of child sex work as nearly 65 percent reported going to bed without food. They reported encountering challenges in their trade which included abuses (physical, emotional and sexual), indebtedness, refusal of clients to pay for services rendered among others. Certain coping mechanisms were adopted to cope with these challenges. They reduced abuse by keeping to known regular clients, collected money before services, practiced interfemoral to make more money, relied on each other for social support among other strategies including use of drugs to reduce inhibitions in order to stay in the trade despite the challenges. Recommendations were made based on key findings of the study. Key recommendations include strategies to be adopted to keep the girl-child in school, parental irresponsibility should be addressed through legislation and that migration of teenagers especially the girl-child should be curbed nationally. Key words: child sex work, drivers, seaters, roamers, adolescents, characteristics. 

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Africa, P. & GAISIE-AHIABU, E (2021). Child Sex Work In Accra: Drivers, Characteristics And Coping Mechanisms. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Africa, PSN, and ELSIE GAISIE-AHIABU "Child Sex Work In Accra: Drivers, Characteristics And Coping Mechanisms" Afribary. Afribary, 14 Apr. 2021, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.


Africa, PSN, and ELSIE GAISIE-AHIABU . "Child Sex Work In Accra: Drivers, Characteristics And Coping Mechanisms". Afribary, Afribary, 14 Apr. 2021. Web. 16 Jul. 2024. < >.


Africa, PSN and GAISIE-AHIABU, ELSIE . "Child Sex Work In Accra: Drivers, Characteristics And Coping Mechanisms" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 16, 2024.