This crime has been proscribed in various ways since the International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children, which was agreed in 1921 as a multilateral treaty of the League of Nations that addressed the problem of international trafficking of women and children for nefarious purposes.
The proscribed traffic was international in nature at that time.
Child groomers might look for opportunities to have time alone with the child, which can be done by offering to babysit; the groomers may also invite the child for sleepovers, for opportunistic bed sharing.
Jim Gamble, leader of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) of the United Kingdom, stated in April 2010 that his office received 292 complaints about Facebook users in 2009 yet "None of these complaints came direct from Facebook." A spokesman for Facebook responded to complaints by meeting CEOP directly in person, and saying, "We take the issue of safety very seriously." In 2005, Yahoo!
chat rooms were investigated by the New York State attorney general's office for allowing users to create rooms whose names suggested that they were being used for this purpose. agreed to "implement policies and procedures designed to ensure" that such rooms would not be allowed.
Localised grooming is a form of sexual exploitation – previously referred to as ‘on street grooming’ in the media - where children have been groomed and sexually exploited by an offender, having initially met in a location outside their home.
This location is usually in public, such as a park, cinema, on the street or at a friend’s house.
In November 2010, the Rotherham sex grooming case saw various convictions of child sexual abusers.
In 2012, various members of the Rochdale sex trafficking gang were convicted on various counts.
Australian Criminal Code Act 1995 section 474.26 and 474.27 prohibits the use of a "carrier service" to communicate with the intent to procure a person under the age of 16, or expose such a person to any indecent matter for the purposes of grooming.
The various states and territories have similar laws, some of which use a different age (for example the victim only has to be under 16 in Queensland).
Offenders often act together, establishing a relationship with a child or children before sexually exploiting them.
Some victims of ‘street grooming’ may believe that the offender is in fact an older ‘boyfriend’; these victims introduce their peers to the offender group who might then go on to be sexually exploited as well.
Such software analyses chat rooms and other instant messaging logs for activity that may identify grooming or other potentially suspicious activities.