Child Sexual Exploitation

                                             Child Sexual Exploitation Policy



Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) has become a growing and serious concern and is recognized as a form of child sexual abuse. SP Higher Secondary School Child Sexual Exploitation Policy is recognition of this concern and our commitment to protecting and supporting the school community and working with partner agencies to achieve this. As such, this policy falls within the established Child sexual abuse laws in India has been enacted as part of the nation’s child protection policies and as document in the SP Higher Secondary School Child Sexual Exploitation Policy and procedures. SP Higher Secondary School vision, it’s policies, student-staff relationship and its curriculum. An awareness of the risk factors and signs indicators of CSE is key for all staff as is how to access support and guidance.


Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a pressing human right issue and public health concern. We conducted a systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies published in the past decade on CSE in India to examine the distribution of the prevalence estimates for both genders, to improve understanding of the determinants and consequences of CSE and identify gaps in the current state of research.

To increase awareness and understanding of CSE within the school setting

To raise awareness of the risk factors and the warning signs of CSE

To provide relevant information and guidance on CSE, which is accessible to staff, parents/guardians and students

To provide a consistent approach when dealing with CSE

To make available support for students, parents, guardians and staff in the events of concerns arising in relation to CSE

To enable those seeking help to feel secure and supported



Definition of child

The Act defines a child as a person under the age of 18 years. However, this definition is a purely biological one, and doesn’t take into account people who live with intellectual and psycho-social disability.

A recent case in SC has been filed where a women of biological age 38yrs but mental age 6yrs was raped. The victim’s advocate argues that “failure to consider the mental age will be an attack on the very purpose of act.” SC has reserved the case for judgment and is determined to interpret whether the 2012 act encompasses the mental age or whether only biological age is inclusive in the definition.

Child sexual abuse, also called child molestation, is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of child sexual abuse include engaging in sexual activities with a child (whether by asking or pressuring, or by other means), indecent exposure (of the genitals, female nipples, etc.), child grooming, child sexual, exploitation or using a child to produce child pornography.

Child sexual abuse can occur in a variety of settings, including home, school, or work (in places where child labor is common). Child marriage is one of the main forms of child sexual abuse; UNICEF has stated that child marriage “represents perhaps the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls”. The effects of child sexual abuse can include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, propensity to further victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems. Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest.

The global prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7% for females and 7.9% for males. Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, uncles, or cousins, around 60% are other acquaintances, such as “friends” of the family, babysitters, or neighbors; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10% of child sexual abuse cases. Most child sexual abuse is committed by men; studies on female child molesters show that women commit 14% to 40% of offenses reported against boys and 6% of offenses reported against girls.

The word pedophile is commonly applied indiscriminately to anyone who sexually abuses a child, but child sexual offenders are not pedophiles unless they have a strong sexual interest in prepubescent children. Under the law, child sexual abuse is often used as an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification. The American Psychological Association states that “children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults”, and condemns any such action by an adult: “An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior.


            At SP Higher Secondary School we strive to support and teach students about how to make positive choices and informed decisions in their relationships so that they develop awareness and can protect themselves from all potential forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.

            SP Higher Secondary School has adopted the definition which is as below:

“Someone taking advantage of you sexually, for their own benefit. Through threats, bribes, violence, humiliation, or by telling you that they love you, they will have the power to get you to do sexual thingsfor their own, or other people’s benefit or enjoyment. These acts may include: touching or kissing private parts, sex, and or taking sexual photos.”

            A whole school approach to taking child sexual exploitation

We are committed to ensuring that all SP Higher Secondary School staff receive training about what constitutes child sexual exploitation, what the warning signs are and how to report it and there is clear procedure within the school on how concerns about child sexual exploitation can be reported.

In any case where student on student exploitation is taking place, including sexual exploitation, this may be indicative of wider aspects of abuse, including networks and this will be actively pursued in conjunction with children’s services and the police. Both the victim and the alleged perpetrator will be viewed as in need of help, protection and support.

SP Higher Secondary School is also committed to ensuring that any lessons in which child sexual exploitation is discussed focus on online safety, as well as healthy relationships, with a particular focus on young people’s awareness and understanding of consent in a relationship.

Indicators of child sexual exploitation

When a young person is being sexually exploited they may exhibit a range of types of behaviour or warning signs that might indicate that they are a victim or at risk of CSE. The following list is not exhaustive but the indictors listed have been proven to correlate with being a victim of CSE; patterns of behaviours or issues which in themselves may appear minor may provide a different and more worrying picture when put together, and must be actively pursued:

Appearance & Behaviour

  • Physical symptoms (bruising suggestive of either physical or sexual assault).
  • Evidence of drug, alcohol or substance use.
  • Volatile behaviour / mood swings / use of change in performance at school.
  • Low self-image, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviour, e.g. cutting, overdosing, eating disorder,
  • Promiscuity.
  • Physical aggression towards others.
  • Abusive language.
  • Truancy/disengagement with education
  • Change in appearance / always tired.



  • Sexually transmitted infections / pregnancy / seeking an abortion.
  • Sexually risky behaviour.
  • Sexual / unexplained relationships with older people.
  • History of abuse or neglect.
  • Domestic violence / parental difficulties.
  • Clothing – inappropriate for age, borrowing clothing from others.
  • Reports that the child has been seen in places known to be used for sexual exploitation.


  • Entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults.
  • Hostility in relationship with parents/carers and other family members.
  • Reports to suggest the likelihood of involvement in sexual exploitation (e.g. from friends or family).
  • Associating with other young people who are known to be sexually exploited.
  • Inappropriate use of Internet and forming relationships with adults.
  • Phone calls, text messages or letters from unknown adults.
  • Adults or older youths loitering outside the child’s usual place of residence.


Missing / Homelessness

  • Truancy.
  • Placement breakdown.
  • Persistently missing, staying out overnight or returning late.
  • Returning after having been missing, looking well cared for in spite of having no known home base.
  • Missing for long periods, with no known home base.
  • Going missing and being found in areas where the young person has no known links.



  • Petty crime e.g. shoplifting, stealing.
  • Having keys to other premises.
  • Expensive clothes, mobile phones or other possessions without explanation.
  • Accounts of social activities requiring money.
  • Possession of large amounts of money with no plausible explanation.

Steps that schools can take to address child sexual exploitation

SP Higher Secondary School has an identified Designated Security Officers who will provide governance and scrutiny on how the SP Higher Secondary School is dealing with child sexual exploitation and to give all school staff a single point of contact to report or find out more information about child sexual exploitation.

Facilitators and security staff will be responsible for monitoring attendance and take action where necessary. All periods of absence will be followed up to ascertain the reasons for the absence; problems can be identified and responded to before they escalate.

All staff are responsible for taking accurate registers and following procedure for missing students, Child Protection and referring any concerns to the DSO. 

Regular meetings of the staff members and DSO will provide lots of opportunities for changes in behaviour to be noted and concerns about young people reported.

SP Higher Secondary School will ensure that the Designated Security Officers and other Safeguarding staff are present at all Child Protection meetings involving young people from the campus.

SP Higher Secondary School will ensure all staff have relevant continuing professional development (CPD) on child sexual exploitation so that all staff know what it is, what warning signs to look out for and how to report it within the Campus.

SP Higher Secondary School recognizes that all young people are at risk of online sexual exploitation and will ensure that its safety procedures are robust. The school is committed to teaching students about online risks, how they can recognize unsafe online contact and to empower students to be confident to report any concerns about themselves or peers to staff in school. The school has a robust e-safety Policy to ensure leaner’s are taught to recognize online risk and who to report any concerns to.

Reporting a CSE concern

Any student displaying the signs of CSE, out of character behaviour or discloses any information related to CSE should be reported to the Designated Security Officers immediately.

The concerns will be reviewed and appropriate action taken in line with the School Safeguarding Policy. Where appropriate consultation will take place in line with proper policies and procedures.


The school appreciates that some students may feel anxious about seeking help due to concerns about sharing of information and confidentiality. We will share information on a ‘need to know’ basis and manage information discreetly and sensitively.

Staff is legally bound to share information if they feel the student is at risk or is suffering from significant harm, and therefore complete confidentiality cannot be achieved.

Monitoring and Evaluation

As with all Child Protection and Safeguarding concerns within school the identification or disclosure of CSE will be recorded and securely stored. Information will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis to ensure the safety and well-being of those involved.

Any communication with home, or meetings with the young person will be recorded and the relevant bodies will be informed about issues or concerns.

Senior staff and Governors will evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and agree adjustments that may be necessary to address any on-going concerns. These will be shared with staff, parents/guardians and students.