Author: Dimitra, Content Writer, Headline Diplomat eMagazine
Child Trafficking: What does it mean?
- Forced labour
- Sexual slavery
Human trafficking (HT), often known as trafficking in persons, is a rapidly expanding criminal industry throughout the globe. The victims come from all walks of life, spanning age, gender, race, and financial status, and crime has been reported in every state in the country.
Young people make up as much as 17% (or 4.3 million) of the total 24.9 million sex and labour trafficking victims worldwide, according to 2016 data from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
- It is prohibited to detain, recruit, lure, entice, shelter, transport, provide, or acquire another human being with the intent to exploit that person sexually for money or forced labour or services.
- Maintaining, recruiting, seducing, enticing, harbouring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a child under 18 for commercial sexual activity constitutes the offence of Sex Trafficking of a Minor, even if the actor reasonably thought the kid to be 18 or older. It is not necessary to prove that force, fraud, or coercion was used; rather, the offence is automatically classified as a first-degree misdemeanour.
Child Trafficking: A form of abuse
- Human trafficking is defined as the commercial exploitation of vulnerable individuals.
- Within 48 hours of being aware of an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect, educators must report it to the police or the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
- School personnel might benefit from their familiarity with child abuse and neglect to recognise the warning signs of suspected human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is like a disease on modern civilization and a boil on the church. There is no greater wickedness than this.”
Traffickers: Who are they?
Traffickers are people who tend to manipulate people with their sugar-coated words. Anyone who is facing problems with their family can easily fall into the trap of these traffickers since they tend to show sympathy towards them. Traffickers are the people who tend to kidnap schoolchildren and exploit them for their gain.
Trafficking a child is tough, and that is why these people tend to go for those who are easy to manipulate. Any child can be facing family problems. This is why they tend to seek affection and validation from others. These children often become the victims of traffickers.
How have schools contributed to the prevention of child trafficking?
Teachers and other school staff have a responsibility to ensure that all pupils can learn in an environment free from bullying and other types of intimidation. School personnel may be able to detect prospective victims and link them with the necessary resources if they are aware of the risk factors and behavioural indicators of trafficking and how to respond to a suspicion regarding trafficking emerge. Protective factors for youth can be increased through education on topics such as, healthy relationships with their family, and their social circle and development of emotional skills. Educating their parents and youth about human trafficking is essential to bringing about change and empowering those who fall victim to this heinous crime.
A student’s safety and well-being depend on the school personnel being aware of the facts of this crime and the need to take a victim-centred response.
“Human trafficking must be eradicated as a pressing moral obligation of our day.”
Behavioural Indicators, Factors of Risk and Recruitment
Staff members at educational institutions should be educated on how to spot the warning signals of adolescent vulnerability and exploitation.
In addition, educators should know how traffickers look for and recruit victims. By raising faculty knowledge of juvenile trafficking, we may better prepare ourselves to respond to situations when it arises. This is not an all-inclusive list, but it does include some of the more pressing problems associated with teenage exploitation and trafficking.
Examples of possible threats include the following:
- Absence of social interaction or interaction with others
- Low self-esteem
- Unmet need for love and attention
- History of mental illness or substance abuse
- Academic instability
- Homelessness or unstable housing
- Involvement with child welfare/out-of-home placements
- Juvenile justice system involvement
- Gender identity
- The immigration status.
The following risk factors make a young person vulnerable to sexual exploitation by traffickers, since they may indicate gaps and vulnerabilities in the victim’s life that the trafficker hopes to exploit. Preying on vulnerable youth, traffickers promise to provide their unmet needs before resorting to physical or psychological force, threats, or intimidation to retain control and reliance.
- Group homes
- Places of work
- Transit hubs, etc., where large numbers of children congregate, are fertile recruitment grounds for criminal organisations.
Grooming a relationship
- Victim grooming is a tactic used by certain traffickers to gain and maintain the loyalty of their victims.
- A connection between two people might develop rapidly or take years.
- Traumatic bonds form between victims and traffickers when victims come to see their traffickers as the only stable adults in their lives.
- Relationships of many types, including those of a romantic or platonic nature, as well as those of a parental or paternal one, may result through recruitment of this sort.
“Human rights protection is not a privilege granted by the state. Everyone on Earth has these rights just by virtue of his humanity.”
Ways to prevent child trafficking in schools
There are some ways that schools can adopt to prevent any mishap that may take place. Child trafficking is surely traumatizing for one since they tend to go through terrible experiences.
But here are some ways that the institute teachers can adopt so that their students are kept away from such unfortunate circumstances.
Take note of certain signs
- Learn to recognise the Symptoms concerning human trafficking.
- Expose the myths surrounding trafficking and expose the facts.
Report about obvious signs
- To report human trafficking, call the national hotline.
- Contact @humantraffickinghotline.org if you have any questions or need any kind of help.
Involve school counsellors
If you think that your student is becoming a victim of child trafficking, sending them to the school counsellor might be the best option. Since school counsellors are the people who are ready to listen to people and help them feel relaxed by prescribing certain medications.
“Justice undermined in one place is justice eroded everywhere.”
Featured photo: Yan Krukov, Pexels.