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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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  1. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Identifying and Providing Services to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children

  2. Barton Clinic: Who We Are • Founded in 2000 at Emory University School of Law • The mission of the Clinic is to promote and protect the well-being of neglected, abused and court-involved children in the state of Georgia, to inspire excellence among the adults responsible for protecting and nurturing these children, and to prepare child advocacy professionals.

  3. Our Approach • Research based • Service focus • Survey of other jurisdictions

  4. Definition of CSEC • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) • Sexual abuse accompanied by remuneration in cash or in kind to the child or a third person or persons • Main Types of Victims/Exploitation: • “Street” victims • Internet victims • Internet is the method or “street” (i.e. Craig’s List) • Child pornography victim • “Legitimate” business (i.e. escort services and massage parlors)

  5. How Children Become Exploited • Family member or other trusted person • Abduction and force • Run away or throw away • Seduction

  6. Methods Used to Control CSEC Victims • Seduction • Force: Rape, beatings, confinement • Fraud: False and deceptive offers • Coercion: Threats, debt bondage, psychological manipulation

  7. Human Trafficking: General • Definition: Compelling or coercing another person to perform labor or other services • Coercion can be overt or subtle; physical or psychological • Two types of human trafficking: • Sex • Labor

  8. Types of Human Trafficking • Sex Trafficking • Recruiting, harboring, transporting, obtaining or employing a person • Commercial sex • Induced by force, fraud or coercion OR • Performed by person under the age of 18 • Often found in massage parlors, brothels, strip clubs, escort services

  9. CSEC Sexual exploitation of children Includes both girls and boys, but efforts often focus on girl victims Involves both domestic and international children Human Trafficking Misconception: Is thought to be only international in scope, but is also domestic Has both adult and child victims Deals with both labor and sexual servitude Comparison

  10. Important Connections • Street exploitation tends to center around legal adult entertainment locales • Runaways and sexual abuse victims are most likely targets

  11. Challenges in Protecting Child Victims • Victims are runners • Substance abuse (86% of 2005/6 AH residents) • STIs (64% of 2005/6 AH residents) • Mental health issues • PTSD symptoms • Depression (53% at time of AH admission) • Low self-esteem (100% moderate to severe) • Lack effective life-skills • Healthy relationships • Communication/Conflict Resolution • Decision-making skills

  12. Challenges in Protecting Child Victims • Understanding the Mindset of CSEC victims • Fear, distrust health/social service providers, police government officials • Do not consider themselves victims • May develop loyalties, positive feelings towards pimp as coping mechanism • May try to protect pimp from authorities • Fear for safety of family

  13. Challenges in Protecting Child Victims • Child victims are still psychologically attached to the street life and will sometimes run from treatment services • Child witnesses are sometimes very reluctant to cooperate with authorities in building a case to prosecute their offenders • Child victims are often loyal to their exploiters, even though they have been physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by them • Child witnesses need protection and support throughout all the court proceedings • Often rape shield protections will not apply

  14. Identifying CSEC Victims • Key Questions to ask • How did you get here? • Where do you live, eat and sleep? • Do you owe someone money? • Were you threatened if you tried to leave? • Has your family been threatened? • Were you ever physically abused? • Were you ever forced to stay in one place? • Who are you afraid of?

  15. Scope of the Problem • Over 250 girls exploited in Georgia each month • This number only captures most common avenues of exploitation • Also excludes boys and transgender youth • National estimates vary wildly

  16. Current Georgia Approach • No minimum age for prostitution • Efforts in Atlanta to avoid prosecution of commercially sexually exploited children • JJF, Angela’s House, and some other private organizations provide services, but incomplete continuum of care • Strong laws for prosecuting offenders

  17. Other Jurisdictions: Las Vegas • Prosecution model • Vice hold: up to three weeks • Goal: Get children to participate in the prosecution of pimps, then direct them to services • Downside: The effects of detention of child victims

  18. Other Jurisdictions: Boston • Child abuse model • Mandatory reporting, rather than arrest • Services focus • Downside: If children choose not to participate, services / pimp prosecutions may fail

  19. Other Jurisdictions: San Francisco • Hybrid model • Arrest and detention for child’s safety • Informal probation to compel services • Services delivered in detention and after release • Downside: Harmful effects of detention still apply

  20. Other Jurisdictions: New York • Anti-trafficking + PINS • Strong new anti-trafficking bill with requirement of task force to identify service needs • Safe Harbor Act makes commercially sexually exploited children subject to court supervision, but not delinquent

  21. Recommendations • Treat these children as victims, not criminals • Mandatory reporting of commercial sexual exploitation • Develop full continuum of care, including: • Prevention efforts • Treatment • Aftercare