Archive for March, 2008


March 17, 2008

The United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) was established to lead the fight against human trafficking. As global experts in their field, the Centre brings together a number of agencies, from law enforcement and government to nongovernmental agencies (NGOs) and charities, to create a specialist team.

The key theme of the campaign is ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ and the blindfold represents the risk of people being unaware of the crime going on around them. Given the nature of the crime, victims understandably can be reluctant and frightened to come forward. As such, in order to combat this modern form of slavery both the public and the authorities need to be vigilant and aware that the crime is going on around us.


The blue blindfold website has advice and signs to look out for, as well as real-life stories from previous victims of trafficking in the UK.


Closer to home

March 17, 2008

To bring the issue of child trafficking closer to home, I have found a news report by the BBC on child prostitutes in the UK.

The report, which was released in August, reveals that there are  5,000 prostitutes under the age of 18 in the UK.

I have to say that I was shocked when I read this report because I thought this kind of thing was unlikely to happen in this country where children are usually well protected. However, like I mentioned in my previous post, legal structures are inadequate to deal with the trafficking of human beings.

So what exactly needs to be done for this to stop?

To read the report, click here.

I would really appreciate your comments. Where you as shocked as I was or am I just being naive? 

What is it?

March 16, 2008

A lot of people I’ve spoken to about trafficking don’t know much about it and others think of it as forced prostitution that goes on mainly in Eastern Europe.

Well, that’s not the case.

Trafficking is global, it is happening all over the world, even in the UK.

Here are some facts I’ve found on child trafficking:


  • Every year 1.2 million children are trafficked
  • 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.
  • Surveys indicate that 30 to 35 per cent of all sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are between 12 and 17 years of age.
  • In Lithuania, 20 to 50 percent of prostitutes are believed to be minors. Children as young as age 11 are known to work as prostitutes. Children from children’s homes, some 10 to 12 years old, have been used to make pornographic movies.
  •  National and international legal structures are inadequate to deal with the trafficking in human beings.
  • While there are different patterns of exploitation in different parts of the world, children are trafficked for a number of purposes, including: sexual exploitation, adoption, child labour (e.g., domestic work, begging, criminal work like selling drugs), participation in armed conflicts, marriage, camel racing, organ trade.
  • The victims of trafficking or their caregivers are often seeking escape from poverty. The children most likely to be trafficked are girls, those from tribal groups and ethnic minorities, stateless people and refugees.
  •  Some children (or their parents) are lured by promises of education, or a good job, other children are kidnapped and taken from their homes. Often they are crammed into boats or trucks without enough air, water or food.
  •  Children who are trafficked lose contact with their families. It is difficult for them to seek help not just because they are children but because they are often illegal immigrants and have false documents or no documents.
  • Child trafficking works through personal and familial networks as well as through highly organized international criminal networks. Recruiters are often local people. Trafficking routes change rapidly to adjust to changing economic or political circumstances or the opening of new markets.
  • Poor economic conditions, poverty, unemployment, an upsurge in international organized crime, lack of education, inadequate or non-existent legislation and/or poor law enforcement all contribute to the increase in child trafficking.
  • Trafficking becomes intensified in situations of war, natural disaster and lax regard for human rights.



March 12, 2008

Based on a poem by Simon Armitage, this short film gives a chilling insight into the horrors of child trafficking.