Author: Hera, Content writer Headline Diplomat eMagazine
Child trafficking is an inhumane crime that befalls more than just criminal justice; it is also a grave concern that emerges as a public health crisis (Peck et al, 2021).
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) defines child trafficking as the “transportation, recruitment, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons utilizing fraud, force or deception, to exploit such persons for commercial gain.” Child trafficking applies to all persons under 18 experiencing such a crime.
With the shocking surge in child trafficking, the UNODC’s 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons has reported a tripling of the share of children among the number of humans being trafficked around the globe. About one-third of overall detected victims of human trafficking were identified as children; the percentage of girls was 4% more than boys.
The Global Report by the UNODC reported several pre-existing factors which the traffickers use to their advantage:
- 51% of the cases emerged from the traffickers taking advantage of the economic need of the families of those children
- 20% of the issues occurred because the child suffered with a dysfunctional family
- 13% of the cases involved the child being involved with an intimate partner that was a trafficker
- 10% of the issues involved the child suffering from a mental, behavioral or neurological disorder, the rest of the cases were due to the immigration status, deprived parental care, limited education or physical disability of the child.
Child Trafficking victims experience trauma from a wide range of activities that fall into their paths as victims. the UNODC report recognized the following:
- 50% of the victims were experiencing sexual exploitation or being used as prostitutes or as sexual slaves.
- 38% of the victims faced forced labor in the form of domestic work, construction work, fishing, catering, agriculture, mining, street trading, garments, mining, or other forms of physical labor.
- 6% of the victims were trained to be involved in criminal activity, with the rest of the percentage owed to begging, forced marriages, baby selling, removal of organs, or other unknown exploitations.
It is entirely heart-shattering to imagine that someone who is not even able to give consent is being forced to work, have sex, or be married to someone. Child traffic victims are often used for circulating child porn on the dark web, which forms a humungous share of the crime industry (Gottfried, Shier & Mulay, 2020).
Child trafficking is a heinous crime. Children’s rights must be protected, and they should be ensured education, care, leisure, and health. No world can be considered fair, just or democratic when child trafficking is left on the loose. All nations need to join hands to abolish this crime from ever existing. Denying or neglecting its existence undermines the fight against it.
Featured photo by Tatiana Syrikova, Pexels.