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”

Physical Indicators

  • ‪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 ‪

Emotional Indicators

  • ‪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.

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437)
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Don't hesitate to call and get help. 
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.