Child Trafficking – the recruitment, transportation or transfer of a child by any person to another for remuneration or any other consideration for the purpose of sexual exploitation, transfer of organs of the child, child labour, or illegal adoption.(Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography)|
Trafficking in person - the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. (Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime)
Sale of children – any act or transaction whereby a child is transferred by any person or group of persons to another for remuneration or any other consideration including - offering, delivering or accepting, by whatever means, a child for the purpose of sexual exploitation, transfer of organs, engagement in forced labour – and improperly inducing consent, as an intermediary, for the adoption of a child in violation of international legal instruments on adoption. (Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (art. 2 & 3))
The trafficking of children is not new; it has existed for many years and continues to grow across all continents and all cultures. Today, however, there is a new, strong will to take action to combat trafficking and to bring it to a speedy end. Child trafficking is emerging as a global issue; nearly all countries are affected by this criminal violation of children’s rights.
Under international law, trafficking is a crime involving the movement of children and their exploitation. The movement may be voluntary or coerced; the relocation may be across borders or within a country; and the exploitation can take several different forms: labour, prostitution and in some cases for use in armed conflicts. Exploitation occurs at the beginning, middle or end of the trafficking process (or indeed at several points), but none of this changes the fact that, where there is movement and exploitation, then trafficking has occurred. And those who have contributed to it – recruiters, middlemen, document providers, transporters, corrupt officials, employers and exploiters, service-providers – are traffickers.
Child victims of trafficking are mostly separated from their families and communities and coerced into prostitution and other exploitative forms of work such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, fishing, begging and work in the entertainment sector and domestic service. They are vulnerable to abuse and further exploitation, often being moved from one form of exploitation to another, and are most often traumatized by this accumulation of denied rights. Child trafficking is a highly complex phenomenon with no simple solution. While more is known about the problem today, there remains a knowledge gap both in the analysis of the problem and in finding effective responses to the many challenges that trafficking poses, from prevention of the problem; interception, withdrawal and protection of victims; to dealing with those who profit from and exploit children’s vulnerability.
- Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year
- UNICEF estimates that 1,000 to 1,500 Guatemalan babies and children are trafficked each year for adoption by couples in North America and Europe.
- Girls as young as 13 (mainly from Asia and Eastern Europe) are trafficked as “mail-order brides.” In most cases these girls and women are powerless and isolated and at great risk of violence.
- Large numbers of children are being trafficked in West and Central Africa, mainly for domestic work but also for sexual exploitation and to work in shops or on farms. Nearly 90 per cent of these trafficked domestic workers are girls.
- Children from Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana are trafficked to Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Gabon. Children are trafficked both in and out of Benin and Nigeria. Some children are sent as far away as the Middle East and Europe.
Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography: http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc-sale.htm
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: