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Child Trafficking

A child has been trafficked if he or she has been moved within a country, or across borders, whether by force or not, with the purpose of exploiting the child

Human trafficking is said to be the third largest illegal trade after drug trafficking and arms trade. Human trafficking can also be regarded as forced labour. 3 out of every 1,000 persons worldwide are in forced labour at any given point in time and so this estimate captures the full realm of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation or what some call ‘modern-day slavery’.

Child trafficking, a part of human trafficking is a crime involving the movement of children for the purpose of their exploitation. A child is a person under the age of 18 years. Trafficking implies that someone has organised the movement of a child with the immediate or ultimate aim of the child's exploitation. This could involve a transaction where someone receives payment or a benefit to agree to a child being exploited. Children at this age need to play and study but are instead victims of a silent organised crime.

Children make up 26% of all forced labour victims. This means that there are 5.5 million child victims at any given point in time. It is also estimated that children make up 21% of forced sexually exploited labour in the private economy. Although families and communities may value and cherish their children, but they can be easily used as commodities in situations where families are desperate and feel they have no other financial options.

Global March’s comprehensive response to protect the rights of all children, especially the right to be free from economic exploitation as well as right to education and participation, comprise of following dimensions:

  • Prevention through access to education, creating awareness, community mobilization.
  • Protection through adoption and enforcement of  child rights, sensitive laws and policies, victim responsive child sensitive programmes,  rescue operations
  • Prosecution and Conviction of offenders to create a legal deterrent.
  • Provisions through victim-sensitive care and assistance, facilities to ensure safe return, social recovery and reintegration including economic-social empowerment.
  • Participation through community, child participation in activities to protect child rights, involving key actors like government, employees and employers.

Any time bound, multi-pronged, pro-active and holistic approach to protect children in most difficult circumstances would also consist of the following 6 stages of intervention:

  • Research ( for a thorough understanding of the problem)
  • Recognition ( of the problem)
  • Rescue ( through raids or other legal interventions)
  • Rehabilitation (both statutory and institutional)
  • Repatriation (of the children back to their homes)
  • Reintegration (of the former victims into mainstream society)