Child Sexual Exploitation: marginalised perspectives and temporal shifts

25th anniversary issue 1 cover


‘They can show some love or caring, instead of this “we’re moving you there”. They need to stop moving people around like bags of rubbish nobody wants’

  • Christina, 21


That quote was taken from research with young women who had been in Local Authority care that is featured in the latest virtual issue of Child Abuse Review. The researchers from London Metropolitan University drew their findings from life story interviews with 14 young women, and point out the cultures and systems that made them vulnerable to sexual exploitation.


Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is not a new phenomenon, but we are, perhaps, just starting to get to grips with the extent of the problem and what we can do about it.


Our guest editors, Caroline Bradbury-Jones and Jenny Pearce, have drawn together 9 papers on CSE published in Child Abuse Review over the past 25 years. They point out some of the achievements that have been made in both policy and practice to better understand the nature of the abuse and protect children from it. However, as they point out, there is still a lot to be done to raise awareness with families and communities about the nature of CSE, to train staff in identifying indicators of CSE, to improve information sharing between professionals working in different disciplines, and to work for more child-centred practices and coordinated interventions between statutory and voluntary service interventions.


All the papers in this virtual issue are freely available online for a limited period along with Caroline and Jenny’s helpful editorial. Do take a look.


‘In all, the articles in this virtual issue show us how far research, policy and practice has moved in advancing the protection of children from CSE over the last few decades. They also remind us that research can, and does, helpfully inform policy and practice but that recommendations from the work and dissemination of findings is important to effect change. The articles also bear ongoing resonance with current issues, many of which need further development of the evidence base and improvements in policy and practice. We look forward to such future activities to further protect children from CSE in the future.’




Contents of the Virtual Issue on Child Sexual Exploitation

Bradbury-Jones C., Pearce J. 2016. Child Sexual Exploitation: marginalised perspectives and temporal shifts

Ireland K. 1993. Sexual exploitation of children and international travel and tourism. Child Abuse Review 2(4): 263-270.

Lillywhite R, Skidmore P. 2006. Boys are not sexually exploited? A challenge to practitioners. Child Abuse Review 15(5): 351-361.

Ward J, Patel N. 2006. Broadening the discussion on ‘sexual exploitation’: ethnicity, sexual exploitation and young people. Child Abuse Review 15(5): 341-350.

Scott S, Harper Z. 2006. Meeting the needs of sexually exploited young people: the challenge of conducting policy-relevant research. Child Abuse Review 15(5): 313-325.

Coy M. 2009. ‘Moved around like bags of rubbish nobody wants’: how multiple placement moves can make young women vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Child Abuse Review 18(4): 254-266.

Melrose M. 2013. Twenty-First Century Party People: Young People and Sexual Exploitation in the New Millennium. Child Abuse Review 22(3): 155-168.

Dodsworth J. 2014. Sexual Exploitation, Selling and Swapping Sex: Victimhood and Agency. Child Abuse Review 23(3): 185-199.

Brayley H, Cockbain E. 2014. British Children Can Be Trafficked Too: Towards an Inclusive Definition of Internal Child Sex Trafficking. Child Abuse Review 23(3): 171-184.

Ahern E, Sadler LH, Lamb MEL, Gariglietti G. 2016. Wellbeing of Professionals Working with Victims of Child Sexual Exploitation. Child Abuse Review.