The United Nations defines it as "the act of engaging or offering the services of a child to perform sexual acts for money or other consideration with that person or any other person". Both emphasize that the child is a victim of exploitation, even if apparent consent is given. It excludes other identifiable manifestations of CSEC, such as commercial sexual exploitation through child marriage , domestic child labor , and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
The United States Department of Justice states, "The term itself implies the idea of choice, when in fact that is not the case. As an alternative, they use the terms "prostituted children" and "the commercial sexual exploitation of children". Structure and agency commonly combine to force a child into commercial sex: Some are amateurs and others professionals.
Although one tends to think first and foremost of young girls in the trade, there is an increase in the number of young boys involved in prostitution. The most disquieting cases are those children who are forced into the trade and then incarcerated. These children run the possible further risk of torture and subsequent death. Women are also often perpetrators as well. GIFT aims to fight human trafficking through a mutual support from its stakeholders which includes governments, businesses, and other large global actors.
Their first initiative is to spread the word that human trafficking is immoral and has become a growing problem that it will take a global cooperation to cease its continuation.
GIFT strives to lower the demand for this exploitation and create a safe environment for potential victims. The girls are then made to appear older, and documents are forged as protection against law enforcement. However, victimology is not limited to this, and males and females coming from various backgrounds have become involved in sex trafficking.
Murder and accidental death rates are high, as are suicides, and very few trafficking victims are rescued or escape. The return of high profits acts as a primary incentive driving the spread of human trafficking. Today, most markets are operated online disguised as salon parlors making it harder to enforce sex trafficking laws. Examples are online escort services, residential brothels, brothels disguised as massage businesses or spas, many of which enslave children to their services.
Survival sex The other primary form of prostitution of children is "survival sex". The US Department of Justice states: In these situations, the transaction typically only involves the child and the customer; children engaged in survival sex are usually not controlled or directed by pimps, madams, or other traffickers.
Any individual who pays for sex with a child, whether the child is controlled by a pimp or is engaged in survival sex, can be prosecuted. Rosga reported that poverty was a strong contributing factor. She stated, "The global sex trade is as much a product of everyday people struggling to survive in dire economic straits as it is an organized crime problem. Attacking the crime and not the poverty is treating the symptom but not the disease It's not uncommon for girls to know what they're entering into, and to enter voluntarily to some degree.
Maybe they think they'll be different and able to escape, or maybe they'd rather take the risk than feel powerless staying at home in poverty. Rather, a number of external influences, such as poor family situations and domestic violence, factor into the problem.
In Asia, underage girls sometimes work in brothels to support their families. In Sri Lanka, parents will more often have their sons prostitute themselves rather than their daughters, as the society places more weight on sexual purity among females than males.
Adamec write that they "suffer a great deal of abuse, unhappiness, and poor health" in general. One victim left Nepal at the age of 14 and was sold into slavery, locked up, beaten, starved, and forcibly circumcised.
He reported that he was held in a brothel with 40 to 50 other boys, many of whom were castrated, before escaping and returning to Nepal. Runaway teenagers, he states, are frequently used for "porn flicks" and photographs. Other sexually transmitted diseases pose a threat as well, such as syphilis and herpes.
High levels of tuberculosis have also been found among prostituted children. Drug-related health problems included dental problems, hepatitis B and C, and serious liver and kidney problems.
Other medical complications included reproductive problems and injuries from sexual assaults; physical and neurological problems from violent physical attacks; and other general health issues including respiratory problems and joint pains. In , the United Nations appointed a Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography. International law defines a child as any individual below the age of 18,  but a number of countries legally recognize lower ages of consent and adulthood, usually ranging from 13 to 17 years of age.
For example, the Japanese government defines the category as referring to minors between 13 and In the People's Republic of China , all forms of prostitution are illegal, but having sexual contact with anyone under the age of 14, regardless of consent, will result in a more serious punishment than raping an adult.