Child Sex Trafficking
Beginning January 1, 2017, Colorado's statutory definition of “child abuse or neglect” includes any case in which a child is subjected to human trafficking for sexual servitude*.
*An individual who engages in the sexual servitude of a minor is, “A person who knowingly sells, recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, isolates, entices, provides, receives, obtains by any means, maintains or makes available a minor for the purpose of commercial sexual activity."
Vulnerabilities that put a child or youth at greater risk for sex trafficking
- A history of running away from home
- Homeless with no consistent caregiver
- Identifies as LGBTQIA (and has experienced family rejection, harassment, etc.)
- Prior child welfare or juvenile justice involvement
- Economic instability
- Substance abuse issues
- Has a physical/mental disabilities
Consider the possibility of sex trafficking if:
A child or youth…
- Possesses money, cell phone or other material items that cannot be explained
- Self-reports participation in a sexual act in exchange for shelter, transportation, drugs, alcohol, money or other items of value
- Is accompanied by an overly controlling “friend,” “partner,” or “boss”
- Injuries or signs of physical or sexual abuse
- Signs of drug and/or alcohol dependency
- Tattoos, scars, cigarette burns that the child or youth is reluctant to explain
- Low self-esteem, anxiety, excessive guilt or shame
- Hostile or uncooperative
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
No single vulnerability or indicator means that a child or youth is a victim of sex trafficking; however, the presence of multiple vulnerabilities and indicators highlights the need for concern and further assessment. Call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS to make a confidential report, if you suspect sex trafficking or other acts of child abuse and neglect.