Child Sex Trafficking Toolkit for Law Enforcement

It is estimated that as many as 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation each year in the United States, Canada and Mexico.*  The IACP in collaboration with the Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began a new multi-year initiative to improve the ability of law enforcement officers in the field to recognize and respond to commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), specifically child victims of prostitution. The IACP will achieve this goal through five primary objectives:

  • Examine the current state of law enforcement policy and practices in CSEC;
  • Determine gaps/needs and identify promising practices in the field;
  • Produce tools and resources for law enforcement on how to recognize and respond to child victims of prostitution;
  • Raise awareness of CSEC to law enforcement;
  • Promote law enforcement coordination and collaboration with federal agencies, multi-jurisdictional task forces and non-profit service providers involved in CSEC.


CSEC Advisory Working Group

IACP will convene a CSEC Advisory Working Group of police chiefs, national and international law enforcement representatives, prosecutors, training academy officials, subject matter experts and hold two focus groups to:

  • Examine the current state of law enforcement practices and policies on CSEC
  • Assess the gaps/needs of the field
  • Provide guidance on the development of tools and resources for the toolkit


Future Tools and Resources

Law Enforcement Training Manual

A training manual will be developed in hardcopy as well as available online and on DVD. Under the guidance from the CSEC Working Group and the COPS Office, this training manual will be targeted to law enforcement at the training academy, patrol and investigator level on how to recognize and respond to CSEC in the field. The subject matter content will be integrated into a training curriculum based in adult learning theory.

Roll Call Videos

IACP,  in a unique partnership with the FBI, will develop a series of 5-minute long training videos to be utilized for roll call training within law enforcement agencies across the country. The videos will come with a discussion guide designed to reinforce key information contained in the videos and assist officers in applying this knowledge. With the support of the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Unit, IACP will work directly with the FBI’s Video Production Team to produce the videos.

New Online Training Course

IACP will develop a new online training course on how to recognize and respond to CSEC in the field built on the Law Enforcement Training Manual curriculum.

Wallet/Pocket Card

IACP will create a wallet/pocket card that offers quick tips on how to recognize and respond to CSEC for police officers in the field to have on hand as well as a digital version for download and handheld devices.

Community Awareness video

IACP, in partnership with the FBI, will create a short video on the existence and signs of CSEC to enable law enforcement agencies to raise awareness within their own agencies and with other first responders in their communities such as Fire and EMS, hospitals, schools and community youth-serving organizations. It will also offer referral for more information and resources.

Fact Sheet

IACP will create a fact sheet targeted to law enforcement in the field that will provide facts detailing the characteristics of CSEC victims, offenders, and situations.

Community Resource Mapping Template for Law Enforcement

IACP will produce tools and resources to promote law enforcement coordination and collaboration with federal agencies, multi-jurisdictional task forces and non-profit services providers involved in CSEC. This will include a map of existing CSEC resources at the national and regional levels and a Community Resource Mapping Template to enable law enforcement to map local resources and partners in their community.

Promising Practice Brief

IACP will publish a resources brief that highlights an effective law enforcement practice in a community with a strong multi-disciplinary response to CSEC. It will be designed to inform police officers and demonstrate a success in the field.


IACP's Youth Focused Policing website
Community Oriented Policing Services
FBI Innocence Lost 
National Center For Missing & Exploited Children
Social Services Indicator Card
This card provides tips on identifying possibly child victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
IACP’s Violence Against Women Program Resources on Human Sex Trafficking
The Crime on Human Trafficking: A Law Enforcement Guide to Identification and Investigation


For more information, please contact Program Manager Kelly Burke at or 800-843-4227 ext. 842. 


This project is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2012-CK-WX-K033 awarded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.

*R. Estes and N. Weiner. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. University of Pennsylvania, 2001, page 144.

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