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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In recent years, the topic of human trafficking and sex trafficking has been more widely discussed. Human trafficking involves recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining, by any means, a person under 18 years of age knowing that the person, with or without force, fraud, threat or coercion, will be used to engage in forced labor, involuntary servitude or sexual gratification of the defendant or another (K.S.A. 21-5426). Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act. Commercial sexual exploitation of children occurs when individuals buy, trade or sell sexual acts with a child.

Human trafficking is a growing concern. In fact, human trafficking generates $32 billion in profits annually, competing with illegal arms trade for second place behind drug trafficking (according to the U.S. Department of State). Human trafficking cases in Sedgwick County nearly tripled over the course of one year from 2012 to 2013. In April 2013, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill into law to strengthen the State’s human trafficking statues, with an emphasis on protecting children from commercial sexual exploitation.

The new law:

  • Creates the crime of “commercial sexual exploitation of a child” and increases penalties of crimes by buying or selling or promoting sale of sexual relations with persons under the age of 18. Increased penalties and sentencing enhancements for a number of other related crimes are also included.
  • Provides special Child in Need of Care procedures for children who have been subjected to human trafficking and expedites expungement procedures for those children convicted of selling sexual relations if they were subject to coercion.
  • Establishes a Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund to provide support for victims of human trafficking. The fund is paid through mandatory fines on people convicted of human trafficking and related sex crimes.

If you suspect someone is a victim of sexual abuse or human trafficking, sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of a child, call 911 immediately.

Source: Kansas Department for Children and Families, ICT SOS and

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