Child exploitation is an illegal business transaction that entails the exploitation of a child for the personal gain of another person. It is the leading form of child abuse in the world and it has become a growing problem in United States. Many people think that child abuse only happens in poor neighborhoods but this is not true. Some of the worst child abuse cases are perpetrated by those in the wealthiest communities.
The first step towards protecting children from being exploited is by identifying and apprehending those who are involved in such activities. Drug abuse and the demand for crack cocaine are examples of the types of illicit transactions that have been responsible for the rising cases of child exploitation. Drug abusers, including those addicted to methamphetamines, end up in jail because of the severity of their addiction. When they get out, they usually end up behind bars, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to those who do not involve themselves in criminal activities. Drug addicts tend to be more ruthless when dealing with those who have money, power, and influence.
There have also been several reports on how children are sexually exploited by adults. Most of these reports pertain to the rape and sexual abuse of children committed by both adults and children. Although most of the reported cases were committed by juveniles, minors can also commit sexual exploitation, even if they are old enough to consent to the act. In this case, the perpetrator is usually a child between the ages of 12 and 17 years. Other violent sexual predators include those addicted to alcohol and other controlled substances.
Sexually exploited children are subjected to violence when engaging in sexual intercourse. In fact, the number of reported child abuse cases involving children being sexually abused has significantly risen during the past decade. Most of the time, the abusers are strangers who come from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds. Often times, they prey on kids at places where there are people with whom they share common social ties. These places include day care centers, schools, and churches.
Another form of child exploitation involves recruiting young people into the commercial sex trade. In this case, the child exploitation offender is a middleman who contacts both potential victims and potential sex offenders. He then advertises the availability of willing children for sex. Many times, he targets kids who are either runaway or come from broken homes. Most of the time, he coerces them with drugs or offers them money for the services that he promises them.
The last form of child exploitation involves recruiting US citizens as child exploiters. This, however, is an offense that is strictly prohibited under federal and state law. In this case, a US citizen travels overseas to engage in commercial sex acts with minor children. Consular officials play a vital role in identifying and removing children from these dangerous situations. Consular officials can easily notify their respective agencies or the Department of Homeland Security, if a child has been reported missing or if a child has been found in a situation where they may be in danger.
Aside from the federal and state laws that address child exploitation, there are also other types of legal options available for those who have been accused of committing this offense. One option is to seek the assistance of the National Association of Sexual Assault Offenders (NASAA). Through the NASAA, one can choose to work towards rehabilitation, organizations that specialize in this field, or help with the legal aspects of coming up against child exploitation. There are also online resources available for anyone who wants to learn more about working towards freeing minors from sex offenders.
These are just some of the ways that child sexual exploitation goes on in our country. Each of these instances shows how important it is to come up against criminals who prey on children. No matter where in the country you find yourself, if you suspect that a child is being sexually exploited, contact your local authorities.