Child Sexual Exploitation

What is CSE?

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of child abuse. It happens when a young person is encouraged, or forced, to take part in sexual activity in exchange for something. The reward might be presents, money, alcohol, or simply just the promise of love and affection.

It might seem like a normal friendship or relationship at the beginning, but the young person might be persuaded to do sexual things they don’t want to do in return for something.

The government definition is:

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

Sexual and other exploitation can also apply to vulnerable adults. This can take the form of debt bondage, where a person is forced to work for free to pay off a debt, forced marriage, domestic servitude and forced labour, where victims are made to work through violence and intimidation. Any incidence of exploitation of either children or vulnerable adults should be reported to the authorities as soon as possible, using one of the methods detailed in the posters below.