Trafficking of children is a form of human trafficking. It is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receiving of children for the purpose of exploitation.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children can take many forms, including forcing a child into prostitution, other forms of sexual activity, or child pornography. Child exploitation can also include forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, the removal of organs, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for use in begging, as athletes (such as child camel jockeys or football players), or for recruitment for cults.
According to international legislation, in the case of children, the use of force or other forms of coercion, such as abduction, fraud, deception, the abuse of power, or a position of vulnerability does not need to be present in order for the crime to be considered trafficking. The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children also defines child trafficking as trafficking in human beings. The International Labor Organization convention 182 defines it as a form of child labor.
Defining child trafficking
There is a tendency for the trafficking debate to gravitate into an approach against criminals on the one hand and an approach supporting human rights or protection on the other hand. This creates a false impression of opposing perspectives when both dimensions are inherently linked and essential to prevent and combat trafficking.
Despite its importance in any approach to the trafficking problem, there is no single definition of exploitation, and there is difficulty in determining the point at which exploitation begins.
The Palermo definition is not limited to cross-border trafficking—between neighboring States—and can be applied to both internal and intercontinental trafficking.
There are potential links between trafficking and migration. When people move from place to place at local, national, or international levels, they are likely to become more vulnerable, particularly at times of political crisis or in the face of social or economic pressures. Whether driven by desperate situations or motivated to seek better opportunities in life, they may willingly consent to being smuggled across a border. Once transported across the border, they may find themselves abducted into a trafficking network, unable to escape and without access to legal advice or protection.
The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000). The Protocol had been ratified by 135 countries.
The International Labour Organization's Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (ILO convention 182) (1999) defines it as a form of child labour.
Under both conventions, a child is any person younger than eighteen years of age.
- Child grooming
- Child laundering
- Child trafficking (India)
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children
- Human trafficking
- International adoption
- List of international adoption scandals
- Military use of children
- International child abduction
- ChildTrafficking.com: Extensive searchable library of scholarly resources
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (UK): In-depth reading list of academic articles on the topic
- Uganda Minister calls for a law on child trafficking, UGPulse.com