Child Exploitation

Also known as CE. Find out the facts and where help is available.

Understanding Child Exploitation

Child exploitation often takes the form of child sexual exploitation (CSE) or child criminal exploitation (CCE). The exploitation of children and young people under 18 is where a young person will receive something in return for, or be pressured into performing, sexual or criminal activities. Are you being exploited or do you have concerns for someone. Help is available!

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 is where a young person will receive something in return for, or be pressured into performing sexual activities.

What is CSE?

Firstly, it is child abuse and puts young people at risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health.

It can take many forms:

  • A “seemingly” consensual relationship with an older boyfriend
  • A young person having sex in return for attention, alcohol, cigarettes, gifts or lifts
  • Online – a young person encouraged to share indecent images (sexting) or perform sexual acts on webcam. Including the other person then threatening to share images unless further acts performed
  • Organised/networked CSE – serious organised crime

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What is Child Criminal Exploitation?

Children and young people involved with gangs and criminal exploitation need help and support. They might be victims of violence or pressured into doing things like stealing or carrying drugs or weapons. They might be abused, exploited and put into dangerous situations.

What is CCE?

Criminal exploitation is child abuse where children and young people are manipulated and coerced into committing crimes.

How are young people recruited?

Children and young people may become involved in gangs for many reasons, including:

  • Peer pressure and wanting to fit in with their friends
  • They feel respected and important
  • They want to feel protected from other gangs, or bullies
  • They want to make money, and are promised rewards
  • They want to gain status, and feel powerful
  • They’ve been excluded from school and don’t feel they have a future

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What are the signs of CE?

There are some people who may seek to draw you into sexual or criminal relationships. They might be nice to you initially by showing lots of affection, by inviting you to parties and buying you alcohol, drugs, clothes, mobile phones or other gifts.

This might start off casual and friendly, but it might slowly turn more and more towards pressuring you into performing sexual or criminal acts.

No-one should pressure you to have sex.

This includes getting you to touch yourself in front of others or in front of a webcam, or having someone touch themselves in front of you. It also includes making you look at pornographic photos or films.

The people who do this aim to draw young people like you into swapping or selling sex. They are not really your friends.

They might make you feel guilty or ashamed for what you have done, to make you keep quiet.

You need to know that there is help available.

Spot the warning signs

These could be some of the signs that show you could be at risk:

  • Frequently skipping or doing badly in school
  • Being friends with older adults
  • Having an older boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Not hanging around with friends your own age or less often
  • Tried and use drugs or alcohol
  • Chatting to people online who you have never met
  • Going missing for hours or overnight
  • Having strained relationships at home
  • Going off with people in cars that you don’t know
  • Being invited to parties with people you don’t know
  • Hanging around in areas that people don’t think are safe

The ThinkUKnow website has a wide range of advice on what to do if you feel you might be in an exploitative relationship.

Where can I go for help?

You need to know that whatever has happened, you are not responsible for it and you are not in trouble with the police.

If you feel that you might be in an exploitative relationship, the first step is to tell someone about it.

This could be a parent, carer, teacher, youth worker or the police.

If you want to, call the States of Jersey Police on 612612. They have a dedicated, understanding and supportive Personal Protection Unit.

They will help you through what is happening and work as hard as possible to stop the abusers from hurting you any further, or harming anyone else.

Other organisations you can contact:

YES Youth Enquiry Service

Tel: 280530 or 07797 778424 or pop in to our drop-in.

Children and Families Hub

Tel: 01534 519000

Jersey Women’s Refuge

Tel: 0800 735 6836


Jersey Tel: 760800

Child Line

Tel: 0800 1111


Tel: 507981

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Youth Enquiry Service, The Link, Eagle House, La Colomberie, St Helier JE2 4QB

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01534 280530

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07797 778424

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