Child trafficking’s tragic reality

Awareness is the first step in the battle against global child abuse.

Around the world, children suffer from the same vile human rights abuses as adults and are usually even more targeted because of their dependence, innocence and vulnerability. Every day, children are physically and sexually abused. Considering that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, this is the perfect opportunity for each of us to do our part in stopping the despicable treatment of children by making ourselves aware of the situation and its surrounding issues.

One of the biggest crimes against children is the existence of child trafficking. According to estimates by UNICEF, there are as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.

These children often become the victims of cheap labor and sexual exploitation. What makes the situation even more tragic is that the children and their families are usually unaware of the dangers of trafficking; they believe they are headed toward better lives and employment opportunities in other countries.

Because child trafficking is often associated with underground criminal activity and corruption, it is often hidden, making it extremely difficult to uncover. Due to the lucrative nature of child trafficking, the demand for children increases every year.

Even though almost all governments carry the pretense of upholding the human rights of children, the despicable treatment of children, such as child trafficking, occurs almost everywhere. UNICEF estimates that 1,000 to 1,500 Guatemalan babies and children are trafficked each year for adoption by North American and European couples. The organization also describes the trafficking of young Asian and Eastern European girls as mail-order brides, the trafficking of large numbers of children in west and central Africa for domestic work and sexual exploitation, and the trafficking of children in and out of Benin and Nigeria to as far away as the Middle East and Europe.

Child trafficking is a global problem stealing the innocence of a devastating number of kids. Its barbarity transcends both cultural and territorial borders. By educating ourselves about the realities of child trafficking and other methods of child abuse, we can start fighting for justice.