Youth Sexual Exploitation

The terminology sexually exploited child/youth is used instead of “child prostitute” or “youth prostitute” to recognize the high level of exploitation involved. Rather than criminalizing the young person, this term places responsibility on those who procure children or youth for sexual exploitation.  Although adults can also be exploited, this section focuses on the particular situation of children and youth.

The occurrence of commercial youth sexual exploitation in Vancouver and across the country is difficult to estimate. Much of it is hidden due to its illegal nature.

With less than 20 per cent of commercial youth sexual exploitation taking place on the streets, according to Save the Children Canada,[i] children and youth are exploited in venues including massage parlours, nightclubs, escort agencies and even their own homes. With the Internet, luring of children by predators has become prevalent and extremely dangerous.

[i] Save the Children Canada, Out from the Shadows and into the Light: Finding Solutions through Youth Participation in Canada (Vancouver: Save the Children Canada, 1999).