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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: What Do We Know and What Do We Do About It?

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2007
20 pages
This report examines the problem of commercial sexual exploitation of children and the response to the problem through intervention and prevention programs.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is sexual abuse of a minor for economic gain. CSEC takes place at three levels: local exploitation by one or a few individuals, small regional networks involving multiple adults and children, and large national or international sex crime networks where children are traded and sold as commodities. The number of known cases of CSEC is growing. In the United States, it is more common for children to be sexually exploited for monetary gain by family and friends. Children may also be commercially sexually exploited for purposes of pornography. Reducing CSEC requires a multipronged approach aimed at increasing public awareness, promoting the public’s ability to report incidents, and strengthening national and international interdiction and prosecution. Strategies in reducing CSEC that have been initiated include: global/international agreements and treaties and the FBI’s Innocent Images National Initiative. The Innocent Images initiative provides coordination and analysis of case information among agencies and governments in an effort to establish a law enforcement presence and deterrence on the Internet. In addition to supporting existing interventions and prevention measures, other actions, such as keeping pace with technology, educating potential victims, educating the public, improving parental supervision, and enhancing the role of women and children in society can have a dramatic impact on reducing CSEC. 22 notes

Date Published: December 1, 2007