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Child Criminal Exploitation

Child criminal exploitation (CCE) is where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child into any criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. CCE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur using technology. CCE can include county lines, forced to shoplift or pickpocket, or to threaten other young people. Some of the following can be indicators of CCE:


  • children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;

  • children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;

  • children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;

  • children who misuse drugs and alcohol;

  • children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and

  • children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education.

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