Preventing sexual exploitation of children and 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.
Children of the Street
Children of the Street 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) are service providers and community partners who work together to develop local strategies that address prostitution and sexual exploitation.
A CAT can include:
- 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 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.
Stopping the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth
Stopping the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth 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.