Trafficking of children is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children can take many forms, and include forcing a child into prostitution, other forms of sexual activity or child pornography.
Child exploitation also includes forced labour, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, the removal of organs, trafficking for under-age marriage, and recruitment as child soldiers, for use in begging or for and recruitment to cults.
According to international legislation, the use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, the abuse of power or the child being in position of vulnerability, does not need to be present in order for the crime to be considered trafficking.
This is a form of Trafficking in human beings as defined by the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish trafficking in persons, especially Women and Children.
The International Labour Organisation convention 182 defines it as a form of child labour.
Child trafficking is a crime under international law and in of many countries.
Child trafficking is a global phenomenon and South Africa is no exception, with shocking statistics reported every year.
Society needs to be cautious of the reality that child abusers come from all walks of life.
Parents need to be aware of the dangers that face their children.
Children are abducted in broad daylight at shopping centres, taxi ranks, schools and even hospitals.
No safe place to stay.
Often when children are removed from exploitative environments they are provided with inappropriate accommodation which leads them to being even more vulnerable.
To prevent children in care going missing the government should ensure the provision of safe and supported accommodation.
To safeguard child victims of trafficking the Government must ensure the following.
• Improve accommodation provision for child victims of trafficking
• Introduce a system of guardianship for child victims of trafficking
• Appoint an independent watchdog that monitors and reports publicly on child trafficking and recommends change.
Numsa News No 2 2010