What is CSEC

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is any activity where the child is treated as a commercial and sexual object to be used, sold or traded in exchange for something of value.

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (also known as CSEC or child sex trafficking) is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, or advertising of a minor child for the purpose of a commercial sex act, which involves the exchange of anything of value – such as gifts, drugs or a place to stay – for sexual activity.  

It refers to a host of crimes, including: commercial production of child pornography; sharing videos of children engaged in sexual activity in exchange for anything of value; engaging in sexual activity with a child in return for anything of value; commercial child sex tourism or the performance of children in sexual venues.

Sex trafficking of minors can take many forms—including exploitation through prostitution, pornography, stripping, “survival sex”, escort services, erotic massage, and interfamilial trafficking by a family member or intimate partner.

The selling or exchanging of sex for something of value can take place in a variety of venues, including: online through social networks and classified websites, strip clubs, bus terminals, public events, residential or commercial brothels, on the street, hotels, fake massage or nail parlors, private homes, and truck stops.

Risk Factors

Child Sex Trafficking happens everywhere and can happen to anyone. 

There are, however, certain risk factors that can increase the vulnerability of youth to become victims of exploitation:

Child welfare involvement
Runaway and homeless youth
History of abuse as a child
People who are part of a marginalized group, including people of color
Recent migrants or those who have recently relocated
People with substance use concerns
People with a history of trauma
People with disabilities, including mental health disabilities
People who are marginally housed or homeless, especially youth
People who are LGBTQ+ identified

Learn what you can do to recognize the signs of potential exploitation.

And what you can do to help. 

Find out more…