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Child trafficking (Palermo Protocol)

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Child trafficking has been a subject of IRC research for the past five years. During 2005 data collection was completed for a 55-country European study. As with the African research, the study is developed through: a desk review of public documents relating to child trafficking, the administration of a questionnaire by focal points in the countries under study, and a review of law and policy measures. UNICEF’s regional offices in Geneva, country offices and national committees have been involved in the research and expert discussions promoted to validate the emerging findings.

In 2005, a study on Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation was launched and research also commenced in cooperation with the South Asian regional office, covering eight countries. A regional review of child trafficking laws and policies is currently being conducted. Building upon lessons learned from the European and African contexts, detailed reference notes have been developed for each country, and shared with UNICEF child protection teams.

A questionnaire has been prepared in cooperation with national and regional colleagues, the responses to which will form part of the overall analysis. Four case studies on the prevention of child trafficking will be conducted: Sri Lanka and the protection of sex tourism; preventing cross-border trafficking between India and Nepal; preventing trafficking of Bangladeshi children for camel jockeying; and community based efforts to prevent child trafficking in Southern India.


Child trafficking has been a subject of IRC research for the past five years. During 2005 data collection was completed for a 55-country European study. As with the African research, the study is developed through: a desk review of public documents relating to child trafficking, the administration of a questionnaire by focal points in the countries under study, and a review of law and policy measures. UNICEF’s regional offices in Geneva, country offices and national committees have been involved in the research and expert discussions promoted to validate the emerging findings.

In 2005, a study on Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation was launched and research also commenced in cooperation with the South Asian regional office, covering eight countries. A regional review of child trafficking laws and policies is currently being conducted. Building upon lessons learned from the European and African contexts, detailed reference notes have been developed for each country, and shared with UNICEF child protection teams.

A questionnaire has been prepared in cooperation with national and regional colleagues, the responses to which will form part of the overall analysis. Four case studies on the prevention of child trafficking will be conducted: Sri Lanka and the protection of sex tourism; preventing cross-border trafficking between India and Nepal; preventing trafficking of Bangladeshi children for camel jockeying; and community based efforts to prevent child trafficking in Southern India.

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This publication acknowledges the adoption of many international standards and the promotion of regional agreements. At the same time, legislation against trafficking is often considered within the broader context of criminalizing prostitution, addressing organized crime and controlling migration. Although these are important issues, a focus only on these perspectives fails to adequately address the full complexity and dynamics of human trafficking, and fails to give distinct consideration to child trafficking. Existing laws therefore need to be amended and new laws enacted to fully conform with international standards.

This publication acknowledges the adoption of many international standards and the promotion of regional agreements. At the same time, legislation against trafficking is often considered within the broader context of criminalizing prostitution, addressing organized crime and controlling migration. Although these are important issues, a focus only on these perspectives fails to adequately address the full complexity and dynamics of human trafficking, and fails to give distinct consideration to child trafficking. Existing laws therefore need to be amended and new laws enacted to fully conform with international standards.

Within and across borders in Europe, children are trafficked into a variety of exploitative situations, violating their human rights and threatening their survival and development. This report assesses the legal, policy and implementation frameworks in place to address child trafficking in the region. Covering more than 50 countries/entities, the report investigates the complexity of the trafficking phenomenon, and maps trafficking patterns and targeted legal and policy responses.

Within and across borders in Europe, children are trafficked into a variety of exploitative situations, violating their human rights and threatening their survival and development. This report assesses the legal, policy and implementation frameworks in place to address child trafficking in the region. Covering more than 50 countries/entities, the report investigates the complexity of the trafficking phenomenon, and maps trafficking patterns and targeted legal and policy responses.

Trafficking of human beings affects every country in Africa for which data are available, either as countries of origin or destination. The report looks at information from 53 African countries and provides an analysis of the patterns, root causes, and existing national and regional policy responses and effective practices.

La traite des êtres humaines affecte presque toutes les nations d'Afrique pour lesquelles nous disposons de données, que ce soit les pays d'origine ou celles qui servent de destination. Le rapport étudie les informations recueillies dans 53 pays africains et procède à une analyse des schémas et des racines profondes de la traite, ainsi que des pratiques et mesures efficaces prises au niveau national et régional.

COORDINATOR(S)

Andrea Rossi
The trafficking of children is one of the gravest violations of human rights in the world today. Every year, hundreds of thousands of children are smuggled across borders and sold as mere commodities. Their survival and development are threatened, and their rights to education, to health, to grow up within a family, to protection from exploitation and abuse, are denied. This study focuses on a region that is badly affected by the phenomenon, aiming to increase understanding of this reality and maximize the effectiveness of measures to overcome it.

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