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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children/Sex Trafficking

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2014
14 pages
After discussing the features and prevalence of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the United States, this report reviews the provisions of U.S. legislation intended to counter CSEC and other forms of human trafficking nationally and worldwide, followed by discussions of the characteristics of victims of CSEC and the services they receive, the pathways to CSEC, evidence of the effectiveness of countermeasures, and improvements needed.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) defines CSEC as "crimes of a sexual nature committed against juvenile victims for financial or other economic reasons." The most common forms of CSEC are child pornography and child sex tourism. Estimates of the prevalence and monetary gain of CSEC vary due to a lack of awareness of the issue, under-reporting of the crime, and the difficulty of identifying victims and perpetrators. Since CSEC is but one form of human trafficking for exploitative financial gain, the U.S. Congress passed comprehensive legislation in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This law provides for the U.S. Government to use an evaluation tool that rates nations on their efforts and ability to end human trafficking. Each country is assigned a "tier" that measures how each nation complies with U.S. anti-trafficking policies. These ratings determine the degree to which the U.S. Government will provide non-humanitarian and non-trade-related aid to a country. The most recent reauthorization of the TVPA includes a focus on he sex trafficking of minors. Pathways to CSEC often involve the sale f a child by family members in exchange for drugs or money. Peer recruitment also occurs. A review of outcomes of CSEC countermeasure focuses on evidence-based prevention and treatment programs that have been in place for a significant period of time. 35 references

Date Published: August 1, 2014