Risk factors for exploitation of children
through prostitution

Familial issues

  • Minimal parental involvement
  • Lack of secure, reliable attachment to an adult
  • Poor parent-child communication
  • High levels of conflict in the home
  • Neglectful / abusive home (physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse)
  • Homelessness / multiple moves
  • Parental mental illness / addiction
  • Anti-social siblings
  • Poverty

Social issues

  • Association with antisocial peer group
  • Experiences of racism
  • Social isolation / rejection by peers
  • Lack of connection to one's culture
  • Presence of adult sex trade in the community
  • High volume of unattached males in the community
  • Known sexual offenders in the community
  • Tendency to "hang out" frequently in public places

Personal issues

  • Age (adolescents are at higher risk of being exploited)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Insecurity; niavete; impulsiveness
  • Risk-taking and / or sensation-seeking behavior
  • Substance abuse/addiction
  • Involvement in criminal activity / involvement in the judicial system
  • Poor school attendance
  • School failure / lack of successes
  • Poverty
  • Confusion regarding sexual orientation

Adapted From: Sacred Lives: Canadian Aboriginal Children and Youth Speak Out about Sexual Exploitation, by Kinglsey + Mark, Published by Save the Children Canada, 2000; Kids in the Know: Risk and Protective Factors Checklist, Child Find Manitoba, 2006.