Posts Tagged ‘trafficking’

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.