Preventing Sexual Exploitation of Children & Youth

Sexual exploitation of children and youth under the age of 18 years is any type of sexual activity with children and youth in exchange for money, drugs, food, shelter or any other considerations. This is the case whether or not children or youth consider themselves to be consenting.

Sexual exploitation of children and youth is never considered prostitution or consensual.

It is sexual exploitation when children and youth:

  • Are sexually abused by adults
  • Provide sex for a place to sleep, a meal or a ride
  • Trade sexual activities in exchange for money, drugs, alcohol, gifts, services, or other items
  • Are sexually trafficked
  • Are seduced, manipulated or coerced to take sexual pictures/videos of themselves (i.e., child pornography) that can be sent over the internet

Some youth feel they are not being exploited, and that they have chosen to exchange sexual acts for resources. But sexual exploitation is not employment or a chosen occupation; it is a form of sexual abuse.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual exploitation, please contact VictimLinkBC.

Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth Awareness Week – March 6 - 12, 2017

The week recognizes the importance of supporting communities to develop prevention, education, enforcement and intervention strategies to address the sexual exploitation of children and youth. Activities include a fuchsia ribbon campaign (PDF) and local school and community-based events held throughout the province.

Children on the Street Society

The Children of the Street Society is dedicated to preventing the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and youth in B.C. It develops public awareness and prevention strategies for youth, families, educators and service providers. It offers a number of school-based programs, resources and supports for parents, caregivers and Community Action Teams across the province.

Community Action Teams (CAT)

Community Action Teams (CATs) (PDF) are service providers and community partners who work together to develop local strategies that address prostitution and sexual exploitation.

A CAT can include:

  • Police
  • Social workers
  • Health professionals
  • Public servants
  • Educators and school administrators
  • Parents and youth
  • Representatives from non-profit agencies

CATs work to end the exploitation of children and youth through prostitution while also reducing harm by improving the lives of adult prostitutes.

Taking Action Handouts and Sexual Exploitation Toolkit

Taking Action (PDF) is a series of handouts for communities working to address the sexual exploitation of children and youth. Communities can use them to learn how to set-up a community action network, create an action plan, apply or funding, build awareness and more.

Taking Action is part of the Sexual Exploitation Toolkit, which is an online resource connecting communities to programs and agencies that work to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth.

The Justice Institute of B.C. developed the handouts with funding from British Columbia's Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Public Safety Canada.

Stopping the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth

Stopping the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth (PDF) is part of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Crime Prevention Information Series. It helps service providers, parents, guardians, teachers and others protect children and youth from sexual exploitation or leave exploitative situations.

Youth Against Violence Line

Youth Against Violence Line logo

Call the Youth Against Violence Line to report a crime or violent incident or just to talk about a problem. We don't use call display and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The line is a multilingual service so we can talk with you in your own language.

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