Child Sexual Exploitation Defined

Defining Child Sexual Exploitation.


National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People (NWG) 2008 defines Child Sexual Exploitation as:



Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. 


Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability. 


The fact that a child has reached the age of 16 or is living independently does not change his or her status or entitlement to services or protection under the Children Act 1989. 


If you suspect either yourself or another is at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation, please contact the police today.