CSEC: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Video: What is CSEC?

It's important to understand that CSEC is happening right here in Rhode Island, in our communities. Day One offers a full spectrum of services to meet the needs of trafficking survivors and their families, from our mentoring program to treatment services to community education and training. 

Day One CSEC Programs

Rhode Island Uniform Response Protocol

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Get the Facts about CSEC:


What are CSEC and Human Trafficking?


Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a commercial transaction that involves the sexual exploitation of a child, such as the prostitution of children and child pornography. 

CSEC may involve coercion and violence against children and amount to forced labor and a form of contemporary slavery as well as offering the sexual services of children for compensation, financial or otherwise.


Who are the victims of these crimes?


The average age of entry for CSEC victims is usually between the ages of 12-14. This is not the only ages at risk however. Recent studied have labeled 200,000-300,000 children in danger of being trafficked yearly domestically in the United States. Here are a few risk factors for those in danger of being victims:

  • Youth living in groups homes and involved with Depart of Children, Youth and Family. (DCYF)
  • Youth with a history of sexually abuse
  • Children with developmental disabilities
  • Bullied youth
  • LGBT youth
  • ALL teens seeking attention and relationships


What are some of the warning signs of CSEC?


  • Unexplained tattoos: tattoos with initials that do not belong to them and may do not want to reveal or of barcodes.
  • Runaway and homeless youth: especially youth from group homes.
  • Youth with significantly older “boyfriends”: this is a common method victims protect the identity of their trafficker or “pimp”, by referring to him as their boyfriend.
  • Low, or no, school attendance: If a youth has little or connection with family members, this is an added risk factor. Low or little family supervision can allow for the child to become a victim. Youth missing curfew or staying out late.
  • Youth, or child, with high knowledge of sexual behavior


Is human trafficking slavery?


Yes, human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery and involuntary servitude resulting in grave human rights violations. Sex trafficking involves individuals profiting from sexual exploitation of others and has serve physical and emotional consequences for its victims.


What drives human trafficking and child exploitation?


There are many driving factors of human trafficking and child exploitation, but the number one driver of this industry is the demand. According to the International Labour Organization (ILOP) human trafficking brings in an estimated 150 billion dollars annually, 99 billion in sex trafficking and 51 billion in labor related trafficking. The legal ramifications for 'Johns', or those buying from traffickers, and the traffickers themselves have been very low thus far. The United States as a whole is working to created stronger legal ramifications for Johns and traffickers to protect victims.

There are other factors, the glorified life of “pimps” or traffickers in the media and sexualization of children is a drive for sex trafficking. This also muddles the understanding of consent; there is no such thing as a child prostitute. It is important the police, hospitals, and the community are informed that these youth are victims and need proper treatment and resources.


How prevalent is child exploitation in the United States? In Rhode Island?


Every state in the United States has had a reported case of human trafficking. No city, urban, rural or suburban, is exempt from this heinous crime. It is important that we as a nation take the steps to proper prepare our communities, hospitals, schools, and police departments to capture traffickers and johns and provide the proper treatment of trafficked victims.

While exact data for Rhode Island overall is hard to come by, we do track the cases that come into Day One. During the first six months of our CSEC program, we have been referred over 30 cases for CSEC victims and expect more to come as the program develops. Rhode Island is not exempt from this crime.


Who do I contact if I think someone is being trafficked?


In Rhode Island, we have a set protocol to follow if you believe someone is being trafficked. You can access or download it here.

Other steps you can take:

If you believe that someone you know is being trafficked call 911 if you believe they are in immediate danger and the police department if you want to report a non-emergency. There is also a National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888- 373-7888 or 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO").


How can I better educate myself about CSEC?


  1. Girls Like Us, by Rachel Lloyd
  2. The Survivors Guide to Leaving, written by Sheila White with Rachel Lloyd
  3. Imprisoned: The Travials of a Trafficked Victim, written by Bukola Love Oriola
  4. Sex Trafficking, Inside the Business of Modern Day Slavery, written by Siddharth Kara
  5. Lost Girls, written by Robert Kolker
  6. The Johns, written by Victor Malarek
  7. Very Young Girls,  directed by Nina Alvarez


How can I get involved with the efforts of Day One?


Our advocacy team is currently developing more ways for the community to become more involved in helping support trafficking and CSEC victims. It is important that we focus on treatment and prevention. My Life, My Choice is a great way to assist victims and at-risk youth under 18 to learn in a group of their peers. If you know a young person who is at risk, involved with, or recovering from human trafficking, contact our CSEC Mentor at 401-421-4100 ext 130 or via email at mnunez@dayoneri.org. For clinical services, contact our Clinical Program Coordinator at 401-421-4100 ext 125 or fill out our Request for Service form. 

Another way to help is to become a helpline advocate. Helpline volunteers will be able to support victims  sexual abuse, who make up 90% of trafficking victims, and link them to healing resources at Day One. For information for our next Helpline training contact our Advocacy Coordinator at 401-421-4100 ext. 146 or fill out our volunteer form.

Day One provides community or organizational trainings on a regular basis. Contact 401-421-4100 , info@dayone.org or fill out a request for training form. If you are interested in donating to our prevention efforts, please click here.

If you have any further questions about human trafficking or CSEC, contact Day One during office hours, 8:00-4:30 at 401-421-4100 ext. 163. After hours, contact the 24-hour Helpline at 1-800-494-8100.