Teenage sex workers from Harare’s high density suburb of Hopley have appealed for assistance from well wishers in order to start a new life.

This came out during a community advocacy meeting between parliamentarians and children practicing commercial sex work.

There has been an emerging trend of young girls and adolescents who practise commercial sex work in the country with areas such as Hopley, Epworth, the Avenues and peri urban farming areas like Domboshava, Concession and Goromonzi being the most affected.

Poverty has been cited as the major driving force behind young girls and women engaging in transactional sex for survival, thereby exposing themselves to HIV and AIDS infection.

ZBC News caught up with some girls as young as 15 years in Hopley who are into commercial sex work for as cheap as 50 cents.

They however appealed for assistance to start a new life as they have been forced into such trade by life circumstances.

Legislators from various parliamentary portfolio committees who visited the area expressed shock at the rampant sexual exploitation of young girls in Hopley.

Katswe Sistahood, a young women’s organisation which is working with the teenage commercial sex workers highlighted the need for policy makers to consider stringent measures that address the menace of child sexual exploitation in the country.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges the government to protect children from all forms of abuse.