Any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.
The term is often used specifically in relation to the sexual exploitation of children. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, sexual exploitation encompasses the use of children in commercial sexual exploitation and in audio or visual images of child sexual abuse, child prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual exploitation in travel and tourism, trafficking (within and between countries), and sale of children for sexual purposes and forced marriage.
According to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, sexual exploitation encompasses conduct related to (a) sexual abuse; (b) offences concerning child prostitution; (c) offences concerning child pornography; (d) offences concerning the participation of a child in pornographic performances; (e) intentionally causing, for sexual purposes, a child to watch sexual acts; and (e) the solicitation of children for sexual purposes, known as ‘grooming’.
See also: commercial sexual exploitation
(1) United Nations Secretary-General’s Bulletin (2003). Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. 9 October 2003; (2) UN Womne (2013). Ending Violence against Women and Girls: Programming Essentials; (3) United Nations (1989). Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); (4) Council of Europe (2007). Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse and its Explanatory Report.