Costa Rica Sex Trade Thrives During Global Recession

The Miami Herald reports that the global recession has boosted Costa Rica's sex trade as more women from countries throughout Latin America travel to the country seeking work. Costa Rica, where the sex trade is legal and government-regulated, continues to be an "international hub for prostitution," it reports.

But the increase in supply has also driven prices down.

But not everyone is happy about the increased competition, which, along with a contracting economy, has required some prostitutes to lower their prices by as much as 40 to 50 percent.

"Business is bad. The problem is competition. Sometimes I don't even make enough to take a taxi home after work,'' said Costa Rican prostitute Mayela, as she lingers by the bar at Key Largo in search of a client.

Across the globe in Southeast Asia, the recession has also led to an increase in the exploitation and trafficking of children as sex workers, IRIN reports.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is booming in Southeast Asia, with governments failing to do enough to protect young people, experts say.

"The recent economic downturn is set to drive more vulnerable children and young people to be exploited by the global sex trade," Carmen Madrinan, executive director of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual purposes (ECPAT), said.