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Abstract

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a form of violence in which children, mainly girls and female adolescents, are reduced to sexual objects for rent. In this study, we argue that the concept of who is an exploiter must be broadened to include everyone who directly or indirectly benefits from CSEC. This paper is based on life stories of 10 female residents from a shelter, which we call Casa Libertad (a fictitious name) in Mexico City, for female victims of violence. Researchers also used semi-structured interviews with experts on CSEC to examine the exploiters' profiles. The research challenges the social representation of all exploiters as members of criminal trafficking networks. Some of the girls did not have direct exploiters, but often acted on their own. Among the victims who had exploiters, relatives and acquaintances played a central role. Our data revealed that the Mexican State, which formally prevents exploitation and assists victims, also contributes by action by not enforcing CSEC existing laws. The State also does not provide sufficient services to victims and has in its ranks sex buyers and abusers.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.