Sexual Exploitation of Children

The sexual exploitation of children refers to situations and relationships in which children exchange sex, or take part in sexual activities, in return for money, gifts, status, or affection. To underline the economically exploitative nature of the sexual abuse, some policy makers and academics prefer the term commercial sexual exploitation. The phrase is related to child prostitution, child trafficking for sexual purposes, child pornography, and grooming. It can occur both online and offline and involves both boys and girls. It is a topic fraught with sensitivities, ideological controversies, and terminological debates. This entry first discusses child exploitation in relation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It then offers an overview of research on child sexual exploitation, discusses the family’s ...

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