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Child exploitation

What makes a child vulnerable to exploitation?

Close-up of a young woman, taken from waist-height, as she looks at her phone. Her face is not visible. Overlaid is text that says: "Spot the Signs Poster Hub".

Awareness of Child Exploitation (CE) has risen dramatically in recent years as the scale of the problem was unearthed in areas across the country. The issue has since been covered extensively on the news, in documentaries and TV dramas; but our teams find the early signs of exploitation are often still missed by the adults around a young victim.

For this reason, we have produced a series of posters that shine a light on this issue, and the ways to help a young person. The materials are most relevant for professionals who work with children, but are useful for anybody who wants to know more about Child Exploitation and Missing From Home.

Anyone can be vulnerable to exploitation. However, there are factors that make a child more susceptible:

  • age or lack of life experience,
  • disruption to relationships and friendships, such as bereavement or moving house or schools,
  • additional needs, such as neurodiversity or disability,
  • adverse childhood experiences, such as trauma,
  • low self-esteem or poor mental health,
  • factors in the neighbourhood, such as crime rates,
  • factors within the family, such as parental health or addiction, or
  • financial difficulties at home.