An increasing number of underage sex workers in Colombia are subjected to hymen reconstruction surgery so that they can be marketed as virgins, the Bogota mayor’s office said Wednesday.
“It’s inexplicable that in the last two years, these numbers have tripled,” Councilor Patricia Mosqueda told El Espectador.
Hymen reconstruction is a procedure which purports to restore a woman’s virginity by reconstructing a vaginal membrane, which will then supposedly produce bleeding after intercourse.The procedure is illegal in many countries, but increasingly available in private European and U.S. clinics.
In addition to hymen surgery, women in the sex industry are also increasingly forced to ingest psychoactive drugs, Councilor Mosqueda said.
Some 7,000 minors in Bogota are subject to sexual exploitation, according to the mayor’s office.
Non-profit organizations estimate that between 25,000 and 30,000 minors in Colombia are sexually exploited.