Human trafficking is the third largest and fastest growing criminal activity in the world (source UNFPA 2006, UNGIFT 2008) and it is estimated that approximately 1.2 million children are victims of trafficking each year (UNICEF 2007). Contrary to popular belief, human trafficking is an issue that affects every country in the world, not just developing countries. No country is immune to the problem and depending on the reason for trafficking, some countries may become a sending country for trafficked victims while others might be origin or transit countries. It is also possible for countries to be all three.
While there are numerous types of exploitation associated with human trafficking, this global campaign will focus specifically on trafficking of children and young people for sexual purposes. Children are often targeted by traffickers because they can be easily deceived, intimidated controlled, and because even when they appear to be in difficult or harmful situations adults will often hesitate to question or intervene assuming that they are under the authority of other adults. Violations against children thus happen all around the world and although child trafficking for sexual exploitation is one of the worst types of human rights abuse, it can be prevented.
We hope that you decide to join the campaign which calls for measures that will ensure the protection of children from these crimes and which will support concrete interventions for children and young people.
What will this campaign do?
The campaign has the following three basic goals:
1. To mobilise concrete and long-term change and action against trafficking of children for sexual exploitation;
2. To ensure that public awareness turns into a global voice that is heard by ordinary people and those with power to make the changes needed to better protect children and young people from sex trafficking; and
3. To use the contributions raised, for prevention and awareness programmes for children and young people at risk, and to bring immediate relief to children who have been affected.
A global report on child trafficking, titled, “Their Protection is in Our Hands – The State of Global Child Trafficking for Sexual Purposes,” is being disseminated therough the campaign to serve as an information tool on the issue, which can be used for advocacy with all those concerned with the rights of children in your country, particularly government.
The ECPAT-The Body Shop led campaign advocates for three specific goals that it asks all governments to prioritise as tangible steps towards fighting child sex trafficking and for improving services provided to child victims. These goals are; to implement community-based prevention programmes to stop child trafficking reaching at-risk populations; to adhere to international legal standards for protecting children from trafficking and incorporated these in the national legal framework; and to establish specialised government services for child victims of trafficking which are integrated by national policy or decree.
For more information about the campaign please click here