Coronavirus & Child Exploitation

Over the last decade, the exploitation of children has gained momentum. With the increased use of technology, social media and the internet, the most vulnerable in society have become targets for organised crime.

These crimes could be the transportation of drugs across counties by children or the trafficking of children across counties for the purposes of sexual exploitation and abuse. Children in care or those on a child in need plan are amA teenage girl in a white t-shirtongst those most at risk of exploitation.

The statutory definition of child sexual exploitation is it “is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.”[1]

Despite the current pandemic, organised crime has continued at pace and children in Newcastle, particularly teenage girls, are continuing to be targeted, intimated and coerced into taking part in underaged sex.

The vulnerability of these children cannot be overestimated. For many young girls in this situation, all they need is someone to care for them, to help support them and allow them to see themselves as victims. In order to provide safety and security for these young people, we need more carers.

If you can help a vulnerable teen and prevent them from further trauma, we would like to hear from you. Please contact 0191 277 2430 and enquire about becoming a foster carer today.