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Commercially Sexually Exploited Children
(Prostituted Youth)

Like many cities in America, the commercial sexual exploitation of children is a concern for Seattle. The Seattle Human Services Department, together with the Seattle Police Department, and a number of other community stakeholders, is working to increase awareness and find solutions. On the following Web pages, you will find information on:

Defining the Problem

"Child sex trafficking," "child prostitution," "domestic minor sex trafficking," "commercial sexual exploitation of children," and "prostituted youth" are all terms used to describe situations where children are lured, enticed, manipulated, and forced to participate in a commercial sex act for the monetary gain of pimps or "traffickers."

Obtaining a child for the purposes of a commercial sex act is a crime that often times involves coercion, forced labor, threats and violence against children. Child victims of sexual exploitation are sometimes referred to as trafficking victims or victims of sexual exploitation.

Though it has been widely recognized that child prostitution and exploitation occurs in many parts of the world, its existence and pervasiveness in the U.S. has only recently emerged as an issue that warrants increased awareness and action. This is because the commercial sexual exploitation of children happens very differently than other forms of child sexual abuse or rape; the abuse does not happen in secrecy and the child may be groomed by the trafficker/pimp to act as the seducer. This creates a challenge for social/health service providers, law enforcement, and the public to identify victims.

Read Maria’s story.

For more information, please contact 206-233-2774.



Seattle Human Services Department
Street address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 5800, Seattle, WA 98104
Mailing address: PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA 98124-4215

Phone: 206-386-1001
Fax: 206-233-5119
TTY/TTD: 206-233-2778

Accommodations for people with disabilities provided upon request.