Child exploitation refers to the use of children for someone else’s advantage, gratification or profit often resulting in unjust, cruel and harmful treatment of the child. These activities are to the detriment of the child’s physical or mental health, education, moral or social-emotional development. It covers situations of manipulation, misuse, abuse, victimization, oppression or ill-treatment.
Those who exploit children and young people are very manipulative in their behaviour. They will spend a lot of time getting to know the child so that they feel happy and comfortable in their social group before they begin with acts of exploitation. This process can take weeks or even months and is known as grooming.
Signs to look out for
Child exploitation is a form of child abuse and can come in a number of different forms: