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Community policy

How to protect children from sexual exploitation

As Hosts, you can take steps to help keep children safe from sexual exploitation in your listing. With this in mind, we strongly encourage you to report suspected cases of child sexual exploitation to the CyberTipline. Also, you are required to follow Airbnb’s policy on use of cameras and recording devices if you use cameras in or around your listing. As outlined in the policy, devices should never monitor private spaces and should be disclosed in the listing description to guests.

Defining child sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation can take many forms and is generally defined as:

  1. The coercion or encouragement of a child to engage in any sexual activity
  2. The use of children in prostitution or other sexual practices
  3. The use of children in pornographic activities, performances, and materials

Signs to look out for

Children who are being sexually abused may display a range of behaviors characteristic of a person who has experienced trauma. Below are some common indicators that a child could be experiencing sexual exploitation:

  • Physical signs of abuse
  • Appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Inappropriate touching between the child and an adult

Child sexual exploitation can happen online or in person, and research shows 1 out of 5 girls and 1 out of 20 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. LGBT youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth.

Reducing the risk of child sexual exploitation

If Hosts use cameras in their listings, devices should never monitor private spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms. All devices in common spaces should be disclosed to guests so they can take appropriate steps to ensure cameras do not inadvertently capture nude images of the children staying in the listing. Hosts should also enable strong cybersecurity practices to minimize chances of any cameras being hacked and utilized to capture nude images of children.

For more details on how to prevent child sexual exploitation, you can check out educational materials from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, ECPAT-USA, and the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

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