16th February 2017 has seen a minor amendment to Working Together to Safeguard Children to extend the definition of Sexual abuse to clearly define and include Child Sexual Exploitation. It is defined as:
Child sexual exploitation 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. (page 93)
Further, there is a new highly detailed and useful set of guidance: Child sexual exploitation: Definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation. This gives detailed explanations of child sexual exploitation, potential vulnerabilities and indicators of abuse and appropriate action to take in response, including examples and guidance to safeguard children from it. The guidance is particularly useful by elaborating on what is meant by ‘exchange’ in CSE to include tangible and intangible rewards. It also tackle a number of myths about who is vulnerable and how CSE is linked with other forms of abuse.There is am emphasis on multi-agency and cross-border approaches.
To support this, there is a set of annexes looking at Adolescence Development and Guide to Disruption Orders and Legislation.