After the January 2010 earthquake, prostitution rose to its highest level of prominence in Haitian society. The desperation of the women trading their wares has driven prices to an all time low. This coupled with a surplus in the workforce, not to mention the variety to be had for those who are purveyors of 'fresh meat', has caused the rise in prostitution's popularity. Never has it been so easily accessible, so well stocked, or so mainstream, with even the likes of teenaged and child prostitution practiced in broad daylight.
Some women enjoy sex enough to choose prostitution. Surely, this has to be acknowledged, but the majority of those practicing in Haiti will no doubt name their number one reason for selling their body and, consequently, their self-worth, as much more material than philosophical. Honest work is scarce and many people lost their holdings during the earthquake. To make ends meet, many women and young girls have taken to the streets simply to pay for food or shelter for themselves or their families.
The greatest part of the current prostitution industry takes place in the rural areas and not in the more populous towns and cities. This is perhaps why it has been able to pervade into normal society with such efficiency. While it seems to have become more widely acknowledged, if not accepted, it is still a far cry from being safe or healthful. An outbreak of cholera may soon take the back seat to a veritable AIDS or STI epidemic.
It's not hard to identify a prostitute on the streets of Champs de Mars or in the main park of Port-au-Prince. They are most readily noticeable by their provocative poses, used to attract attention from the cars that slow as they drive past, their brightly colored hair styles, heavily made up faces and their scant attire. Should one slow enough to stop, they will begin their pitch in hopes of becoming the item most bought.
A million and a half people were displaced as a result of the earthquake and many young girls, startling reports having their age as young as 8, saw themselves parentless and in need of shelter, food and the security they provide. After the destruction of some 200 tents in the Delmas region, during the start of the Martelly Government, their situations grew even more desperate. The trading of sex for these simple amenities became an all too easy transition for young girls. Absent choice due to their youth and subsequent lack of profitable skills, most girls make the only decision their limited scope has exposed them to.
While it is easy to think that the women and girls in the field of prostitution willingly chose their life and should thus suffer no pains living with the consequences, some show distinct signs of embarrassment for their chosen profession. The very young girls who dress up and paint their faces, who understand they must be noticed first to get paid later, can often be seen, or not seen, hiding in the shadows. There is an inherent displeasure felt in the masses for prostitutes, and the prostitutes are aware of it.
This picture represents the ongoing issue in Haiti regarding prostitution. Due to the lack of job and poverty in the country, many young Haitians are obligated to go to prostitution in order to feed themselves. As an unregulated business in Haiti, these Sex Worker are often infected with communicable diseases. Many do not have any other options available.
Following the 2010 earthquake, many more young women became prostitutes. As the family who were supporting them became victims of the earthquake, these young women were forced to be involved in Prostitution