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EDITORIAL:

Child Prostitution Should be Outlawed

Prostitution in Ethiopia is widespread and growing. One of the baffling aspects of the subject is that its existence is generally unrecognized. Nobody wants to discuss how it relates to the people engaged in the "oldest profession" and to the community at large. This state of affairs is even more perplexing when child prostitution is growing day by day.

In the past, the attitude towards prostitution has been concerned with the reform of social deviants. There was a tendency to regard prostitutes as social deviants who must be reformed . Today we are not sure about the prevailing attitude of people. We are, however, certain that attitudes are not entirely justifiable.

In Addis Ababa, after 7.0 in the evening, it is not unusual to see young girls aged 13,14,15 street-walking and soliciting customers. Why are there so many young girls on the streets at these tender ages?

Is poverty the only reason? What is their future? What is the impact of prostitution on the community in general and young people in particular.

Young Ethiopian women have also become a source of income to other parasites. There are now websites advertising young Ethiopian women. Child prostitution is something that should not exist. To ignore the problem as if it did not exist is indefensible. No 14- , 15- or 16-year-old girl in the ignoble trade had wanted to be a prostitute. She longs to be loved. She longs to be wanted as a child. She longs to be a child.

Tamrat Bekele



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