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What is Sex Trafficking?

It’s not what you think. Child sex trafficking, also known as the 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. Examples of crimes and acts that constitute CSEC include:

  • recruitment, harboring, transporting, obtaining, or advertising of a child for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
  • child sex tourism involving commercial sexual activity;
  • the commercial production of child pornography; and
  • the online transmission of live video of a child engaged in sexual activity in exchange for anything of value.

Commercial sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse and a violation of human rights.

Photo of girl sitting against a wall with the words Sex Trafficking. It's not what you think. Children are victims, too.
Senate Bill 855 was passed in June 2014, which changed California’s Welfare and Institutions Code Section 300, subdivision (b)(2) and had an effect on child welfare.

  1. The section basically states that any child who receives food or shelter in exchange for, or who is paid to perform sexual acts, and whose parent or guardian failed to or is unable to protect the child, can be declared dependents of the juvenile court (foster care) and are considered “commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC)”.
  2. With this increasing shift in perspective, children in this population are referred to as CSEC youth or “human trafficking victims” rather than “child prostitutes.”

YouTube: Sex Trafficking. It’s Not What You Think

For years our community has mishandled this crime and labeled these victims.  Learn more about the Myths vs. Reality in the CSEC community.


Call local law enforcement or the Orange County Child Abuse Hotline 714.940.1000

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 888.373.7888

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911

Become a Resource Family! Learn more at:

For printable resources and links to more human trafficking agencies, please visit Resources.

Sponsored by the Orange County Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Steering Committee.