Child Protection and Social Inequality: Understanding Child Prostitution in Malawi
1. Introduction and Background
1.1. Poverty and Politics
1.2. Gender Inequalities
1.3. Child Protection
1.4. Child Prostitution: Theoretical Perspectives
1.4.1. Children’s Rights
1.4.2. Feminist Perspectives
1.4.3. Structure and Agency
1.4.4. The Capability Approach
1.5. Research Questions
2.3. Ethical Considerations
2.4. Data Collection
2.5. Data Analysis
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Why and How Do (Girl) Children and Young People in Malawi Engage in Prostitution?
3.2. Understanding (Girl) Child Prostitution—Participants’ Perspectives
3.3. Protection of (Girl) Children Involved in Prostitution
4.1. Theoretical Understanding
4.2. Methodological Implications
4.3. Implications for Policy and Practice
4.4. Opportunities for Further Research
Conflicts of Interest
- Anders, Gerhard. 2010. In the Shadow of Good Governance: An Ethnography of Civil Service Reform in Africa. Leiden: Brill. [Google Scholar]
- Ansell, Nicola, Elsbeth Robson, Flora Hajdu, and Lorraine van Blerk. 2012. Learning from young people about their lives: Using participatory methods to research the impacts of AIDS in southern Africa. Children’s Geographies 10: 169–86. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Bagnoli, Anna. 2009. Beyond the standard interview: The use of graphic elicitation and arts-based methods. Qualitative Research 9: 547–70. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Balazs, Carolina L., and Rachel Morello-Frosch. 2013. The three Rs: How community-based participatory research strengthens the rigor, relevance, and reach of science. Environmental Justice 6: 9–16. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Banik, Dan, and Blessings Chinsinga. 2016. Political Transition and Inclusive Development in Malawi: The Democratic Dividend. London: Routledge. [Google Scholar]
- Banks, Sarah, Andrea Armstrong, Kathleen Carter, Helen Graham, Peter Hayward, Alex Henry, Tessa Holland, Claire Holmes, Amelia Lee, Ann McNulty, Niamh Moore, Nigel Nayling, Ann Stokoe, and Aileen Strachan. 2013. Everyday ethics in community-based participatory research. Contemporary Social Science 8: 263–77. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Biggeri, Mario Jérôme Ballet, and Flavio Comim. 2011. Children and the Capability Approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [Google Scholar]
- Bisika, Thomas, Pierson Ntata, and Sidon Konyani. 2009. Gender-violence and education in Malawi: A study of violence against girls as an obstruction to universal primary school education. Journal of Gender Studies 18: 287–94. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Bordonaro, Lorenzo, and Ruth Payne. 2012. Ambiguous agency: Critical perspectives on social interventions with children and youth in Africa. Children’s Geographies 10: 365–72. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Brown, Alyson, and David Barrett. 2013. Knowledge of Evil: Child Prostitution and Sexual Abuse in Twentieth-Century England. Cullompton: Willan. [Google Scholar]
- Cammack, Diana. 2017. Malawi’s Political Settlement: Crafting Poverty and Peace, 1994–2014. Journal of International Development 29: 661–77. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance. 2016. Victory for Human Rights in Sex Workers Case. Available online: http://chreaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Victory-for-human-rights-in-sex-workers-case-CHREEA-Press-Statement-Final.pdf (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- Chevalier, Jacques M., and Daniel J. Buckles. 2013. Participatory Action Research: Theory and Methods for Engaged Inquiry. London: Routledge. [Google Scholar]
- Conroy, Anne, Malcolm Blackie, Alan Whiteside, Justin Malewezi, and Jeffrey Sachs. 2006. Poverty, AIDS and Hunger: Breaking the Poverty Trap in Malawi. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [Google Scholar]
- Cooke, Bill, and Uma Kothari. 2001. Participation: The New Tyranny? 4th ed. Zed Books: London. [Google Scholar]
- Cornwall, Andrea, and Althea-Maria Rivas. 2015. From ‘gender equality and ‘women’s empowerment’ to global justice: Reclaiming a transformative agenda for gender and development. Third World Quarterly 36: 396–415. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Dahlbeck, Anders. 2016. Sixty-Year-Old UK Tax Deal Is Hurting the World’s Poorest Country. Huffington Post. February 2. Available online: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/andersdahlbeck/malawi-poverty_b_9132422.html (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- De, Rajlakshmi, and Charles Becker. 2015. The Foreign Aid Effectiveness Debate: Evidence from Malawi. Working Paper. Available online: http://docs.aiddata.org/ad4/pdfs/wps6_the_foreign_aid_effectiveness_debate_evidence_from_malawi.pdf (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- De Maria, William. 2010. Why is the president of Malawi angry? Towards an ethnography of corruption. Culture and Organization 16: 145–62. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Dean, Hartley. 2009. Critiquing capabilities: The distractions of a beguiling concept. Critical Social Policy 29: 261–78. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Di Tommaso, Maria L., Isilda Shima, Steinar Strøm, and Francesca Bettio. 2009. As bad as it gets: Well-being deprivation of sexually exploited trafficked women. European Journal of Political Economy 25: 143–62. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Doezema, Jo. 2010. Sex Slaves and Discourse Masters: The Construction of Trafficking. London: Zed Books. [Google Scholar]
- ECPAT International. 2011. Global Monitoring Report on the Status of Action against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: Thailand. Bangkok: ECPAT International. [Google Scholar]
- Giddens, Anthony. 1986. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Cambridge: Polity Press. [Google Scholar]
- Government of Malawi. 2015. National Plan of Action for Vulnerable Children. Available online: http://www.togetherforgirls.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2015-to-2019-NPA-Malawi-web.pdf (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- Groves, Leslie, and Rachel Hinton. 2013. Inclusive Aid: Changing Power and Relationships in International Development. London: Routledge. [Google Scholar]
- Hounmenou, Charles. 2016. Exploring child prostitution in a major city in the West African region. Child Abuse & Neglect 59: 26–35. [Google Scholar]
- Hwang, Shu-Ling, and Olwen Bedford. 2003. Precursors and pathways to adolescent prostitution in Taiwan. Journal of Sex Research 40: 201–10. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ibrahim, Solava S. 2006. From individual to collective capabilities: The capability approach as a conceptual framework for self-help. Journal of Human Development 7: 397–416. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Jaggar, Alison M. 2006. Reasoning About Well-Being: Nussbaum’s Methods of Justifying the Capabilities. Journal of Political Philosophy 14: 301–22. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Jones, Adele D., and Ena Trotman Jemmott. 2016. Status, privilege and gender inequality: Cultures of male impunity and entitlement in the sexual abuse of children: Perspectives from a Caribbean study. International Social Work 59: 836–49. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Jones, Phil, and Sue Welch. 2018. Rethinking Children’s Rights: Attitudes in Contemporary Society. London: Bloomsbury. [Google Scholar]
- Jupp-Kina, Victoria. 2010. Participant or Protagonist? The Impact of the Personal on the Development of Children and Young People’s Participation. Durham: Durham University, Available online: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/452/1/Complete_thesis_%28updated_-_FINAL%29.pdf/ (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- Kadzamira, Esme, and Pauline Rose. 2003. Can Free Primary Education Meet the Needs of the Poor? Evidence from Malawi. International Journal of Educational Development 23: 501–16. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kaime, Thoko. 2009. The African Children’s Charter: Does It Represent a Relevant Vision of Childhood and Children’s Rights. Children’s Legal Rights Journal 29: 11–29. [Google Scholar]
- Kakowa, Felix. 2016. Nurturing professional social work in Malawi. African Journal of Social Work 6: 1–6. [Google Scholar]
- Kaufman, Carol E, and Stavros E. Stavrou. 2004. ‘Bus fare please’: The economics of sex and gifts among young people in urban South Africa. Culture, Health & Sexuality 6: 377–91. [Google Scholar]
- Kelly, Christine A., Erica Soler-Hampejsek, Barbara S. Mensch, and Paul C. Hewett. 2013. Social desirability bias in sexual behavior reporting: Evidence from an interview mode experiment in rural Malawi. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 39: 14–21. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Kemmis, Stephen, Robin McTaggart, and Rhonda Nixon. 2013. The Action Research Planner: Doing Critical Participatory Action Research. New York: Springer Science & Business Media. [Google Scholar]
- Kidman, Rachel, and Jody Heymann. 2016. Caregiver supportive policies to improve child outcomes in the wake of the HIV/AIDS epidemic: An analysis of the gap between what is needed and what is available in 25 high prevalence countries. AIDS Care 28: 142–52. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Kindon, Sara, Rachel Pain, and Mike Kesby. 2007. Participatory Action Research: Approaches and Methods. Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge. [Google Scholar]
- Kiser, Michelle, Veronica Escamilla, Jonathan Samuel, Kasey Eichelberger, Judith Mkwaila, Bruce Cairns, and Anthony Charles. 2013. Sex differences in interpersonal violence in Malawi: Analysis of a hospital-based trauma registry. World Journal of Surgery 37: 2972–78. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Mason, Jennifer. 2007. Qualitative Researching. London: Sage. [Google Scholar]
- Mbilizi, Margaret Aselele. 2013. When a woman becomes president: Implications for gender policy and planning in Malawi. Journal of International Women’s Studies 14: 148–62. [Google Scholar]
- Melrose, Margaret. 2010. What’s Love Got to Do with It? Theorising Young People’s Involvement in Prostitution. Youth and Policy 104: 12–30. [Google Scholar]
- Minton, Carol A., and J. David Knottnerus. 2008. Ritualized duties: The social construction of gender inequality in Malawi. International Review of Modern Sociology 34: 181–210. [Google Scholar]
- Montgomery, Heather. 2001. Imposing rights? A case study of child prostitution in Thailand. In Culture and Rights: Anthropological Perspectives. Edited by Jane K. Cowan, Marie-Bénédicte Dembour and Richard A. Wilson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 80–101. [Google Scholar]
- Montgomery, Heather. 2007. Working with Child Prostitutes in Thailand Problems of practice and interpretation. Childhood 14: 415–30. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Montgomery, Heather. 2014. Child prostitution as filial duty? The morality of child-rearing in a slum community in Thailand. Journal of Moral Education 43: 169–82. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Morfit, N. Simon. 2011. “AIDS is money”: How donor preferences reconfigure local realities. World Development 39: 64–76. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Moser, Caroline. 2005. Has gender mainstreaming failed? A comment on international development agency experiences in the South. International Feminist Journal of Politics 7: 576–90. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Munthali, Alister C., and Eliya M. Zulu. 2007. The timing and role of initiation rites in preparing young people for adolescence and responsible sexual and reproductive behaviour in Malawi. African Journal of Reproductive Health 11: 150–67. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- National Statistical Office, and ICF. 2017. Malawi Demographic and Health Survey 2015–2016. Zomba, Malawi and Rockville: NSO and ICF. [Google Scholar]
- Nussbaum, Martha C. 2000. Women’s capabilities and social justice. Journal of Human Development 1: 219–47. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Nussbaum, Martha C. 2001. Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. New York: Cambridge University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Nussbaum, Martha C. 2003. Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice. Feminist Economics 9: 33–59. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Nussbaum, Martha C. 2005. Women’s bodies: Violence, security, capabilities. Journal of Human Development 6: 167–83. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- O’Connell Davidson, Julia. 2005. Children in the Global Sex Trade. London: Polity Press. [Google Scholar]
- O’Connell Davidson, Julia. 2007. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. New York: Blackwell. [Google Scholar]
- Olowu, ’Dejo. 2002. Protecting children’s rights in Africa: A critique of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. International Journal of Child Rights 10: 127–36. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Orchard, Treena Rae. 2007. Girl, woman, lover, mother: Towards a new understanding of child prostitution among young Devadasis in rural Karnataka, India. Social Science & Medicine 64: 2379–90. [Google Scholar]
- Özler, Berk. 2016. Keeping Girls in School: A Review of the Global Evidence Policy Brief: Malawi. Washington: World Bank. [Google Scholar]
- Pain, Helen. 2012. A literature review to evaluate the choice and use of visual methods. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 11: 303–19. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Palinkas, Lawrence A., Sarah M. Horwitz, Carla A. Green, Jennifer P. Wisdom, Naihua Duan, and Kimberly Hoagwood. 2015. Purposeful sampling for qualitative data collection and analysis in mixed method implementation research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 42: 533–44. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Pearce, Jenny. 2006. Who needs to be involved in safeguarding sexually exploited young people? Child Abuse Review 15: 326–40. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Pearce, Jenny J. 2014. “What’s Going On” to Safeguard Children and Young People from Child Sexual Exploitation: A Review of Local Safeguarding Children Boards’ Work to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation. Child Abuse Review 23: 159–70. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Pearce, Jenny J., Patricia Hynes, and Silvie Bovarnick. 2013. Trafficked Young People: Breaking the Wall of Silence. London: Routledge. [Google Scholar]
- Peleg, Noam. 2014. Reconceptualising the child’s right to development: Children and the capability approach. The International Journal of Children’s Rights 21: 523–42. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Perez, Teresa Sandra. 2017. In support of situated ethics: Ways of building trust with stigmatised ‘waste pickers’ in Cape Town. Qualitative Research. Available online: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1468794117746553 (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- Phoenix, Joanna. 2001. Making Sense of Prostitution. Basingstoke: Palgrave. [Google Scholar]
- Phoenix, Joanna. 2002. In the name of protection: Youth prostitution policy reforms in England and Wales. Critical Social Policy 22: 353–75. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Phoenix, Jo. 2007. Governing prostitution: new formations, old agendas. Canadian Journal of Law and Society 22: 73–94. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Phoenix, Jo. 2012. Violence and prostitution: Beyond the notion of a “continuum of sexual violence”. In Handbook on Sexual Violence. Edited by Jennifer M. Brown and Sandra L. Walklate. London: Routledge, pp. 218–36. [Google Scholar]
- Poulin, Michelle. 2010. Reporting on first sexual experience: The importance of interviewer-respondent interaction. Demographic Research 22: 237–88. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Rafferty, Yvonne. 2016. Challenges to the rapid identification of children who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Child Abuse and Neglect 52: 158–68. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Robeyns, Ingrid. 2005. Selecting capabilities for quality of life measurement. Social Indicators Research 74: 191–215. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Robson, Colin. 2011. Real World Research. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. [Google Scholar]
- Sanders, Teela. 2006. Sexing up the subject: Methodological nuances in researching the female sex industry. Sexualities 9: 449–68. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Sen, Amartya. 1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Sen, Amartya. 2005. Human rights and capabilities. Journal of Human Development 6: 151–66. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Stacey, Lisa. 2009. Whose Child Now? Fifteen Years of Working to Prevent the Sexual Exploitation of Children in the UK. Essex: Barnardo’s. [Google Scholar]
- Sultana, Farhana. 2007. Reflexivity, positionality and participatory ethics: Negotiating fieldwork dilemmas in international research. ACME 6: 374–85. [Google Scholar]
- Thomson, Pat. 2009. Children and young people: Voices in visual research. In Doing Visual Research with Children and Young People. London: Routledge, pp. 23–42. [Google Scholar]
- Tiessen, Rebecca. 2004. Re-inventing the Gendered Organization: Staff Attitudes towards Women and Gender Mainstreaming in NGOs in Malawi. Gender, Work & Organization 11: 689–708. [Google Scholar]
- Tiessen, Rebecca. 2008. Small victories but slow progress: An examination of women in politics in Malawi. International Feminist Journal of Politics 10: 198–215. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Torre, Maria Elena, Michelle Fine, Brett G. Stoudt, and Madeline Fox. 2012. Critical participatory action research as public science. In APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology, Vol. 2. Research Designs: Quantitative, Qualitative, Neuropsychological, and Biological. Edited by Harris Cooper, Paul M. Camic, Debra L. Long, A. T. Panter, David Rindskopf and Kenneth J. Sher. Washington: American Psychological Association, pp. 171–84. [Google Scholar]
- UNDP. 2015a. Human Development Report 2015; New York: United Nations Development Programme. Available online: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/2015_human_development_report_1.pdf (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- UNDP. 2015b. Human Development Report 2015—Work for Human Development Briefing Note for Countries on the 2015 Human Development Report. Malawi; New York: UNDP. Available online: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/MWI.pdf (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- UNICEF. 2011. Malawi: Child Protection Strategy 2012–2016. Lilongwe: UNICEF, Available online: https://www.unicef.org/malawi/MLW_resources_childprotecstrategy.pdf (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- United Nations. 1989. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. New York: United Nations. [Google Scholar]
- United Nations General Assembly. 2000. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Available online: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b38bc.html (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- Usher, Pat. 2012. Feminist approaches to a situated ethics. In Situated Ethics in Educational Research. Edited by Helen Simons and Robin Usher. London: Routledge, pp. 22–38. [Google Scholar]
- Van der Riet, Mary. 2008. Participatory research and the philosophy of social science: Beyond the moral imperative. Qualitative Inquiry 14: 546–65. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Van Meeuwen, Anne, Sara Swann, Diana McNeish, and Susan Edwards. 1998. Whose Daughter Next? Children Abused through Prostitution. Essex: Barnardo’s. [Google Scholar]
- Walby, Sylvia, Jo Armstrong, and Sofia Strid. 2012. Intersectionality: Multiple inequalities in social theory. Sociology 46: 224–40. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Wheeldon, Johannes, and Jacqueline Faubert. 2009. Framing experience: Concept maps, mind maps, and data collection in qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 8: 68–83. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Williams, Linda M. 2010. Harm and resilience among prostituted teens: Broadening our understanding of victimisation and survival. Social Policy and Society 9: 243–54. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- World Bank. 2017. Urbanization in Malawi 2016. Available online: https://www.statista.com/statistics/520601/urbanization-in-malawi/ (accessed on 5 July 2018).
- World Health Organisation. 2018. Malawi: Country Cooperation Strategy. Geneva: WHO, Available online: http://www.who.int/countryfocus/cooperation_strategy/ccsbrief_mwi_en.pdf (accessed on 5 July 2018).
47% of females marry before their eighteenth birthday (National Statistical Office and ICF 2017).
42% of ever married women experience emotional, physical and/or sexual spousal violence, 34% sustaining injuries (National Statistical Office and ICF 2017).
‘mwana dala’ translates literally as ‘child deliberately’ referring to the deliberate choice of a child.
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Nkhoma, P.; Charnley, H. Child Protection and Social Inequality: Understanding Child Prostitution in Malawi. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 185. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100185
Nkhoma P, Charnley H. Child Protection and Social Inequality: Understanding Child Prostitution in Malawi. Social Sciences. 2018; 7(10):185. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100185Chicago/Turabian Style
Nkhoma, Pearson, and Helen Charnley. 2018. "Child Protection and Social Inequality: Understanding Child Prostitution in Malawi" Social Sciences 7, no. 10: 185. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100185