Child prostitution is widespread, particularly in Managua, port cities, along the Honduran and Costa Rican borders, and near highways. According to Casa Alianza, between 1,200 and 1,500 girls and young women work in the brothels of Managua, and almost half are under the age of 18. Every night, hundreds of teenage girls line the Masaya Highway commercial corridor on the capital's south side. Street children engage in prostitution, often to support a drug habit.
Poverty, illiteracy, lack of economic opportunity, porous borders, and vast areas of sparsely populated territory in the RAAN and RAAS contribute to making the country a major source of human trafficking victims in the Central America region. Victims are also trafficked internally, primarily from poorer areas to Managua.
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