Man with t-shirt with text: Girls are not for sale

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is estimated to affect millions of children under the age of 18. The majority are girls.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children, CSEC, is when an adult exploits a child – female or male – under 18 years old; accompanied by a payment in money or in kind to the child or adolescent (male or female) or to one or more third parties. In practice, this can mean anything from children being sold for sexual purposes on the streets, online, or in brothels to children being married off in exchange for money or in-kind payments such as jewelry or live-stock.

CSEC can include all of the following:

  • The use of girls and boys in sexual activities that is paid for in cash or in-kind in the streets or indoors, in such places as brothels, clubs, massage parlours, bars, hotels, restaurants, etc.
  • The trafficking of children inside a country or/and across borders for the purpose of exploitation in the sex trade.
  • Child sex tourism – when people travel to another country as tourists and buy sex with children.
  • The production, promotion and distribution of pornography involving children being abused and exploited.
  • The use of children in sex shows, public or private, online or in person.
  • Child Marriage, where parents / caregivers marry their child off in exchange for money or something else of value. This includes marrying a child off to a person who is part of an armed group in a conflict situation, in exchange for protection from violence.

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