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This guidance has been written following a series of high-profile cases (Operation Span, Operation Retriever and Operation Bullfinch) in 2012/13 which highlighted the need for a consistent approach to identifying risks and safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation.It is designed to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (C Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse.

For example, a child or young person is persuaded to post images of themselves on the internet and/or mobile phones.Any young person regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity and sexuality can be at risk of being sexually exploited.However, there are a number of factors that can increase a young person’s vulnerability (see also victim account).The characteristics common to all victims are not always their age, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, but their powerlessness and vulnerability.Despite the increased profile of cases are still under-reported.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.

These include children or young people who: This is not an exhaustive list, nor have the vulnerabilities been listed in order of importance.

Children from loving and secure homes can also be victims of sexual exploitation.

Signs include: New technologies and social networking tools and platforms, eg, chat rooms, dating sites or online gaming, present further opportunities for social interaction.

They also bring new risks and increase the opportunity for offenders to target vulnerable young people.

Here the offender befriends and grooms a young person into a ‘relationship’ and then coerces or forces them to have sex with friends or associates.