Sun, Jun 16, 2013 - Page 6 News List

FEATURE: UNICEF gives Ukraine’s teen prostitutes hope

AFP, MYKOLAYIV, Ukraine

When the project started four years ago, only a few dozen people joined the program, but now it covers between 300 and 400 girls.

“Now I am a student in a cultural college, I live in a dormitory,” Sasha said, adding that in the future she wants to become either a musician or a film director.

She also has hopes now of a fulfilling, and safe, private life.

“I met a guy two-and-a-half years ago. Neither he nor I have any infections. So maybe we will get married in the future,” she said.

According to estimates by the UNICEF office in Ukraine, the number of underage girls involved in commercial sex in Ukraine is as high as 15,000.

The number of young prostitutes engaging in unprotected sex is still high, but falling sharply.

The Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies said that of those teenage girls engaged in prostitution, those having unprotected sex had decreased from 62 percent in 2008 to 40 percent in 2011.

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