This week, the government has issued a standard definition of Child Sexual Exploitation in their CSE Guidance document. While there have been several definitions in the past, there has never been an agreed definition, and concern was raised over previous definitions not accurately reflecting the role of the internet in CSE.
The standard definition of Child Sexual Exploitation is as follows:
‘Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.’
The ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document has already been updated with the new definition.
If your school or organisation has a Safeguarding or Child Protection Policy, ensure that your documents are up to date with the standard definition of Child Sexual Exploitation.