- Lake County Office of Education
Human trafficking is internationally a $32 billion dollar per year industry. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, human trafficking currently involves over 100,000 children in the United States.
Additionally, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that in 2018, California had the highest number of reported human trafficking incidents in the country; sex trafficking is the leading type of trafficking in the state.
The Lake County Office of Education united with community partners to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), effective September 18, 2019, surrounding the enactment of protocols for the active prevention of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in Lake County.
Protocols outlined in the MOU establish a collaborative approach to intervention and heavily involve early identification, prevention education, case management, service planning, and provision of services.
One of the most valuable tools for battling CSEC is the ability to identify and report situations that may put children at risk. The MOU establishes Lake County’s commitment to the safety and well-being of children from around the lake and describes effective methods of addressing the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
What is CSEC?
Section 11165.1(d) defines “Commercial sexual exploitation” as either of the following:
- The sexual trafficking of a child, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 236.1.
- The provision of food, shelter, or payment to a child in exchange for the performance of any sexual act described in this section or subdivision (c) of Section 236.1.
Penal Code 236.1(c): A person who causes, induces, or persuades, or attempts to cause, induce, or persuade, a person who is a minor at the time of commission of the offense to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to effect or maintain a violation of Section 266, 266h, 266i, 266j, 267, 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4, 311.5, 311.6, or 518 is guilty of human trafficking.
Child sex trafficking, child pornography, and child sex tourism are all forms of CSEC.
Our Commitment to Change
This MOU reflects the commitment of all parties to the following guiding principles:
- Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children:
- Should be understood as child abuse and reported as such
- Victims of CSEC should not be criminalized
- Responses to CSEC should be:
- Developmentally and educationally appropriate,
- Culturally, linguistically competent,
- Affirming of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE),
- Committed to active efforts that engage CSEC early and often,
- Multidisciplinary, individualized, flexible, and timely, and
- Data and outcome driven.
- Agency Policies & Procedures should:
- Ensure and track cross-system collaboration at the system and individual case levels,
- Incorporate mechanisms to identify and assess CSEC early, as well as throughout the life of a case or investigation,
- Address the unique physical and emotional safety considerations of CSEC for victims including trauma, and
- Address unique physical and emotional safety considerations of staff, caregivers, and other relevant support persons, including vicarious trauma.
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is child abuse.
All parties must comply with mandatory reporting guidelines as defined by California Penal Code Sections 11164 – 11174.3, and report known or suspected child abuse and neglect, which includes sexual exploitation.
You can help.
To truly combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, it’s important for Lake County to come together as a community and focus on the identification, documentation, and support of CSEC youth.
If you suspect that a child may be a victim of Commercial Sexual Exploitation, or any other form of child abuse, call Lake County Child Welfare Services at (707)262-0235 to make an anonymous report.
For additional CSEC resources, visit the K-12 Resources page.