Human Trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)
What is Human Trafficking?U.S. law defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor or services against his or her will. The one exception involves minors and commercial sex. Inducing a minor into commercial sex is considered human trafficking regardless of the presence of force, fraud or coercion.What is CSEC?Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is a form of modern-day slavery that exists both in the United States, and internationally. CSEC perpetrators use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to force women, men and children to engage in commercial sex against their will. Under federal law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking—regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.Purpose
In 2015, the Los Angeles Unified School District joined a national movement to increase awareness of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). The Board Resolution “Not in our Schools, Not in our Communities” initiated a campaign to provide CSEC awareness and prevention trainings throughout L.A. Unified. CSEC is a fast-growing criminal enterprise throughout the world. Los Angeles holds the regrettable position of being one of the highest markets for the commercial sexual exploitation of children, prompting the LAUSD to take a proactive measure to protect our students and our communities.
The formation of a Cadre of Consultants was established to ensure CSEC awareness trainings are provided to all secondary school staff in the District. These professionals work in partnership to provide trainings district-wide. The consultants consist of a multi-disciplinary team of certificated personnel from different units within the LAUSD’s Student Health and Human Services Division. Members of the Cadre have received prior specialized CSEC training through the partnership of the Los Angeles County Department of Probation. Click here to request a training.Description
As a District priority, the Cadre of Consultants began implementing a series of trainings at school sites in the spring of 2017. The Cadre will continue to provide trainings throughout the District until all secondary schools have been trained. CSEC awareness education aims to prevent and address the commercial sexual exploitation of youth by increasing knowledge among L.A. Unified staff, students, and families, and ensuring appropriate, timely response to support those at-risk or involved in CSEC.
The initiative is primarily focused on four key deliverables: (1) providing CSEC awareness education to all secondary schools in the District, (2) updating CSEC vignettes annually for the Spring Child Abuse Awareness Trainings (CAAT), (3) developing resources for staff, parents, and students of the LAUSD, (4) developing subsequent phases of implementation to encompass key stakeholders: caregivers and students.
Community members such as educators are often times the first responders to children with various needs ranging from academic to social and emotional well-being. They are in a unique position to protect our youth as they have daily interactions with the family system. Training District staff on how to identify and follow established protocol for the mandated reporting of suspected victims of child sex trafficking is essential to keeping our youth safe.
The District is committed to optimizing the academic engagement and success of all students. Toward that end, the District recognizes that community, familial, and personal trauma and stressors can create barriers to school engagement.
CSEC and Human Trafficking awareness trainings conducted by the Cadre of Consultants will support identification of suspected victims of sex trafficking and following established protocol for the mandated reporting of child abuse to law enforcement and the Department of Children and Family Services. Additionally, the trainings will serve to increase awareness of:
- Prevalence of the commercial sexual exploitation of children
- Sex trafficking risk factors and warning signs
- Recruitment tactics of sex traffickers and peer recruiters
- Myths about victims and abusers
- Local resources for victims
Denise Miranda, Ed. D.
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 29th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-3840