Child sexual abuse is directly connected to human trafficking.
For all intents and purposes, this piece will focus on child sexual abuse, but it is important to note that children who experience an increase in any adverse childhood experiences are more vulnerable to the manipulative tactics of traffickers, along with many other health issues that include substance use disorders, mental health issues later in life and physical health problems.
Child sexual abuse images (formerly called “child pornography”) and commercial sexual exploitation of children are two forms of child sexual abuse that are also human trafficking.
According to Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) refers to a range of crimes and activities involving the sexual abuse or exploitation of a child for the financial benefit of any person or in exchange for anything of value (including monetary and non-monetary benefits) given or received by any person.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children crimes include child sex trafficking, child sex tourism, commercial production of child pornography, and online exchanges of live video of a child engaging in sexual activity for something of value.
Child trafficking is the is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, or advertising of a minor child for the purpose of a commercial sex act, which involves the exchange of anything of value – such as money, drugs or a place to stay – for sexual activity.
North Carolina passed the Safe Harbor legislation in 2013 which ensured that if a person was under the age of 18 — a child –cannot be arrested for prostitution, but rather treated as a victim of human trafficking. The fact of the matter is, children who are being exploited for sex are victims of child sex trafficking. It is child sexual abuse for profit.
Safe Harbor also makes mistaken age no defense for buyers and consent of the minor is not a valid defense.
Children are incapable of making the decision to be involved in the commercial sex industry. There is no such thing as a child prostitute.
The availability of child sexual abuse images has increased exponentially since 2004. [Thorn Digital Defenders of Children, a tech company founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, highlights that the National Center for Mission and Exploited Children reviewed 50,000 files sexual abuse image files in 2004. In 2019, that number skyrocketed to 70 million files.](https://www.thorn.org/child-sexual-exploitation-and-technology/)
PornHub Exploits Children for Profit and Pornography fuels demand for Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
Watching pornography fuels the demand for exploitation of children. While many people say that pornography is a “regulated industry,” the truth of the matter is, it is absolutely not.
We only have to look at PornHub’s grossly negligent policing of its website to see that videos of children being raped are uploaded on the website and remain on the website for long periods of time — even after the victims themselves plead for them to be removed.
PornHub’s clear profiteering on child sex trafficking garnered the attention of Sen. Ben Sasse.
“In several notable incidents over the past year, Pornhub made content available worldwide showing women and girls that were victims of trafficking being raped and exploited,” the Nebraska Republican wrote in a letter to Barr.