Children and youth are often victims of ‘child exploitation’, but the law often fails to define the term properly.
The term is a loaded one, and often used to describe an act which is considered to be of child abuse by both adults and children.
The term child abuse is used to criminalise any behaviour which is a direct threat to children.
This includes any act of violence towards children, or an act that is intended to cause a child to experience or become aware of the impact of that behaviour.
Many states have introduced child protection legislation which includes a definition of child exploitation.
What is child abuse?
The definition of ‘abuse’ has changed over time.
In 1883, the American Psychiatric Association defined child abuse as ‘the taking of a child for the purpose of sexual gratification’.
In 1971, the Canadian Medical Association adopted a definition which included acts of physical abuse and sexual exploitation, but it was not until 1993 that the definition was amended.
For more information on child abuse, read our post: Is Child Abuse Illegal in Canada?
Children are vulnerable to exploitation in a variety of ways.
An adult can physically abuse a child by pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking or hitting the child with a fist, arm, leg, fist or similar object.
Some acts of child sexual abuse include rape, forced oral sex, rape-for-profit, forced prostitution and child pornography.
A child may be a victim of exploitation in an economic or physical way.
Children who are abused in any way can be in need of services.
Child protection services are required to investigate complaints about abuse, and make recommendations for the prevention of child maltreatment and exploitation.
Children may also be victims of exploitation because they are in the care of a foster family.
Under the Child Protection Act, children in foster care must be protected from physical abuse.
They may also need to be protected when visiting their foster family’s home.
Children in foster and adoptive homes are protected under the Child Abuse Prevention Act, which makes it a crime to: physically harm, abuse or threaten to harm a child under 16; or use a child as a human shield or to intimidate a child in relation to the investigation of a complaint about child abuse.
According to the Canadian Council on Children and Young People, in 2015, more than 3,000 children were reported to the Child and Family Services for child abuse offences.
While children are often abused by parents, many are also victims of child neglect.
There are also cases of children who are victims of neglect, neglect or abuse by people who are not their parents.
When a child is sexually exploited, it can be a traumatic experience.
Sexual exploitation is often a result of a lack of information and support by adults about child sexual exploitation and its harmful consequences.
It can also be a consequence of abuse by someone in a position of authority, and sometimes the abuser is the child’s mother or father.
As a result, many victims of sexual exploitation find themselves in a situation where they have little control over the relationship between them and the person who sexually exploited them.
How can I know if I am a victim?
A victim can be an adult who is abusing children, a child or youth who is in a foster home or an individual who is being sexually exploited.
Victims can be anyone who is vulnerable to sexual exploitation or who may be in a relationship with a person who is a perpetrator.
To be sure that you are a victim, you should: Find out about the nature of the abuse or abuse that you have experienced, including what happened to you, and ask for support if necessary.