Handle With Care Massachusetts

What is Child Human Trafficking / Child Sex Trafficking?

  • Massachusetts refers to Child Human trafficking as the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)
  • CSEC is a form of child abuse
  • State law defines child human trafficking as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person under 18 years of age for the purpose of a commercial sex act.  A commercial sex act is sexual activity on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.
  • In this situation, the minor is sexually exploited for something of value. Children who experience sexual exploitation/trafficking are induced to engage in various forms of sexual activity or performances in exchange for money or goods and services, either for themselves or for the profit of someone else, such as a trafficker.

Sex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the United States and globally.  Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to force women, men and children to engage in commercial sex against their will.  Under state law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking—regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.  It is a myth that the item of value always has to be money or something expensive/high end.

Sex traffickers may lure their victims with the false promise of a high-paying job.  Others promise a romantic relationship, where they first establish an initial period of false love and feigned affection. During this period they offer gifts, compliments, and sexual and physical intimacy, while making elaborate promises of a better life, fast money, and future luxuries.  However, the trafficker eventually employs a variety of control tactics, including physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, confiscation of identification and money, isolation from friends and family, and even renaming victims.

Any child is at risk to be a victim of child trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation. Children are targeted through their own interests, Whether it’s children that interact with others through online gaming, extracurricular activities or those that interact through community based shelter programs. Traffickers look to exploit interests, vulnerabilities and insecurities.

Learn more about sex trafficking, including specific details of the venues where sex trafficking frequently occurs, at www.traffickingresourcecenter.org.