Indicators of Child Recruitment for Sexual Exploitation

Traffickers recruit vulnerable children and teenagers at a variety of locations, including schools, youth shelters and youth centres, shopping malls, movie theatres, city bus and train stations, hitchhiking beside the road, libraries, skateboard parks and parties. Today, online social networking sites are also prime recruiting locations.

Once a trafficker finds a vulnerable child or teenager, they may begin to groom or prepare them for sexual exploitation by initially offering the minor something they want or need: love, shelter, friendship, protection, drugs, alcohol, money, jewellery, a glamorous life, or perhaps even a modelling or singing contract.

An adult in contact with a child or youth may be able to recognize the signs that they are being groomed, and may be able to stop the recruitment before it moves into sexual exploitation.

My Story: I knew of another working girl whose pimp went on [social networking sites] to find and lure victims.  He would send pictures of himself and invite them to parties or would offer to buy them stuff. He would give them the things he promised, but eventually wanted them to work for him.  He gave expensive jewellery to one of the girls he was trying to lure.  Often the girls would come to the parties or the apartment, and he would sleep with them and try to turn them out.

- Christina

In the following video, Professor Benjamin Perrin talks about a case in B.C. where a man used a social networking site to recruit a 14-year-old girl into trafficking for sexual exploitation.


Internet Recruitment

(Video runtime 01:57)


(Transcript for the Internet Recruitment video.)

Red Flags: Indicators of Child Recruitment for Sexual Exploitation.  You notice that the child or teenage has started to: Dress more provocatively.  Stay out later or all night. Hang out with new friends who are older than them. Ignore childhood friends and family members. Drink or use drugs. Skip school. Skip meals. Skip showers or stop changing clothes. Ignore rules and instructions at school or at home. Lie. Wear new clothes, shoes or jewellery of unknown origin. Spend more money and buy more things such as iPods or video games. Receive gifts from a anew friend or boyfriend. Talk about a modeling or other job contract waiting in another town or city. Become more secretive about spending time online. Become frightened of being online.


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