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Child Trafficking Essay

1658 words - 7 pages

The Convention on the Rights of the Child’s Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography defines child prostitution as “the act of obtaining, procuring or offering the services of a child or inducing a child to perform sexual acts for any form of compensation or reward.” The prostitution of a child manifests itself in a form of human/sex trafficking. The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2000) defines child trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring and/or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation.” Many people refuse to recognize child trafficking as a real threat. But the reality of the situation is that every year, a total of millions of children are forced or duped into participating in these acts (I.L.O. 2005). The dangers the victims of this crime face are far beyond anything a normal citizen could imagine. But thankfully, there are people and organizations that are willing to demolish this business. There has been a range of proposed solutions that are currently being implemented. These are classified into four different types of action: protection, law enforcement, prevention, and victim assistance.
Mechanisms
In general, child trafficking takes place in three stages: “recruitment, movement, and exploitation” (UNICEF). Recruitment occurs when a recruiter approaches a child, or the child approaches a recruiter on his or her own accord. It is easy for an adult to prey on a child’s youth and vulnerability. They are promised things – like money, food, and shelter. In exchange for these basic essentials, they are forced to engage in sexual activities, hard labor, armed forces etc. On other occasions, “the children end up funneled into the system by their own families because of extreme poverty” (UNICEF). Children who come from poverty stricken homes may feel the obligation to provide for their families. But the sad reality is that they may never see their family again. Then, movement will occur through many forms of transportation – car, train, boat, foot, etc. The final step of child trafficking is exploitation, where traffickers use the services of children to obtain an illegal profit.
Younger females are preferred in this business because they are easily shaped and molded into their assigned role. They are also presumed virgins, which is a desirable and valuable trait to consumers. The girls are made to look beyond their years and fake documents are made to avoid any confrontation from law enforcement.
Types of child trafficking:
Forced labor
One form of child trafficking is forced labor, or hard labor. This is when a child is used for labor and they are under a countries minimum age requirement, fourteen usually being the lowest. UNICEF estimates that, “in 2011, 150 million children aged 5-14 in developing countries were involved in child labor.” Within those 150 million, the International Labor Organization...

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