Child sexual exploitation is a type of modern slavery when a male or female under 18 is sexually exploited for the benefit or gain of someone else. The benefit or gain can come in many forms such as increased social status or financial gain. Some victims are also trafficked for the purpose of exploitation.
Multiple tactics are used to exploit the child such as 'grooming' which is when the victim is given something, such as food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts or money in return for performing sexual activities or having sexual activities performed on them. Other methods may include violence, bullying and intimidation, with threats of physical harm or humiliation.
Abusers are increasingly using the internet to target vulnerable children. It can happen across any device that's connected to the web, like computers, consoles, tablets, mobile phones and smart speakers.
Children can be at risk of online abuse from people they know or from strangers. It might be part of other abuse which is taking place offline, like bullying or grooming.