Online Program

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in oakland: The need for local urgent action

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Jacqueline Espana, MPH, Health Education Department, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a fundamental violation of human rights and the rights of the child and Oakland, California has been described as a major hub of youth trafficking in the United States. CSEC in Oakland persists due to the failure of society to address economic instability and early childhood trauma that leads to increased risk of exploitation. This paper is informed by literature on CSEC and related issues, and conversations with experts in the field, such as clinicians, program specialists, and researchers to explore the local context. This information was analyzed to create a baseline of knowledge and understanding on the dynamics and health indicators of CSEC across the ecological model. Marginalized and underserved groups, such as low-income people of color, foster and homeless youth are particularly vulnerable to CSEC. Although it is difficult to determine accurate counts, local law enforcement estimates that 100 children are sold for sex in Oakland every night, and the FBI designated the Bay Area as a “High Intensity Child Prostitution Area.” It is critical that the extreme vulnerability of youth in Oakland and the failures of society are addressed to provide urgent, sensitive and long-term solutions to this pervasive and growing problem. Recommendations inform policy makers, practitioners, community-based organizations and the general public in sensitive and effective advocacy and preventative interventions. The community will be able to clarify where protective factors can reduce the incidence of CSEC and determine implications for a coordinated, comprehensive, prevention-oriented response to CSEC.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the dynamics and health indicators of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) across the ecological model in Oakland, California. Identify the social determinants of health that make youth vulnerable to exploitation and the complexities within this issue. Evaluate the larger picture of the CSEC issue by exploring who the exploiters are and how the lucrative sex trade supports the exploitation of children. List the main findings from the literature on CSEC and knowledge of local experts in the field who work with survivors of CSEC. Analyze recommendations that the general public, practitioners, and policy makers can execute to sensitively and effectively respond to CSEC. Name ways that you can become involved in reducing the prevalence of CSEC and preventing further exploitation in your own community.

Keyword(s): Human Rights, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been researching the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) for my entire graduate career. I have had the opportunity to write a grant for a local organization working with CSEC and to speak with many experts in the field. I am very committed to raising awareness and taking action to ending CSEC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.