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Global Day Against Child Trafficking

Publish Date: 12 Dec 2003

The International Campaign against Child Trafficking (ICACT), spearheaded by terre des hommes (TDH) declares 12 December 2003 as the day for global action to ‘Stop Child Trafficking’.

The ICACT partners in six regions of the world (Latin America, Europe, West Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Southern Africa) have reports of children being sold, bought, acquired, obtained; bargained and paid for, procured, exchanged, abducted, kidnapped, removed, held captive and ‘stolen’ for a number of purposes.

ICACT reports reveals that children are trafficked into forced labour, illegal adoptions, forced marriages, for begging and criminal activities, to transport and sell narcotics, into gangs, conflict and armies, for their organs and body parts or cult rituals; and for sexual exploitation, this includes child prostitution and child pornography.

The reports indicate that the trafficking of children for sexual purposes involves the sexual abuse, rape and exploitation (prostitution) of any individual under the age of 18 years (UN Convention on the Rights 0of the Child & African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child). Such trafficking includes the production, distribution, sale and purchasing of any representation of a child, real or simulated, intended to provide sexual gratification in any way, such as pornographic material.

The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children defines trafficking as follow..,
“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability of the giving of receiving of payments of benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation”.
The Protocol supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Crime.

The ICACT further reports that the trafficking of children are facilitated by a number of underground networks involving individuals, groups of individuals, gangs and syndicates. In some cases it involves corrupt business, police and government officials that help to transport and move people / goods from one venue or owner to another. In many cases, it is someone known to the child who facilitates for the child to be trafficked.

ICACT is aware that children are trafficked (in country) within their own communities, from community to community, from the rural areas to urban areas, from city to city; and across borders, from one country to another.

On 12 December, the ICACT will engage in a number of activities with the following objectives … 

  • Create global awareness in public and government on trafficking of children
  • Advocate for the ratification of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and children
  • Lobby the United Nations to designated 2004 International Year Against Human Trafficking  logical outcome for an International Day against Child Trafficking.
  • Advocate for the policy and law reform and anti-trafficking legislation based on international legal frameworks and instruments to combat child trafficking.
  • Advocate regional and international co-operation and extraterritorial jurisdiction for the investigation, charging, prosecution and sentencing of traffickers.
  • Advocate for support services for the rescue, counseling, care, repatriation and healing of children who have been trafficked.
  • Facilitate for young people’s participation and peer support for the intervention and prevention of child trafficking.

 

Regional Campaign Against Child Abuse & Trafficking Southern Africa

The Regional Campaign Against Child Abuse & Trafficking involves the participation of TDH-Southern African Partners from different countries in the region (Angola, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia) and Save the Children  Sweden, South Africa office.

On the 21st Nov 2003, the Co-Group of the Regional Campaign Against Child Abuse & Trafficking met in Maputo and resolved to support the Global Day against Child Trafficking through the following strategies..

  1. Organise a press conference (date to be decided)  ask Graca Marchel to host the conference and use her influence to gain regional and global media coverage
  2. Prepare & release a press statement, information sheets and calendar of events by global & regional ICACT partners (at press conference).
  3. Initiate an email-blitz to create awareness of the Global Day of Action and encourage public and governments to take action and stop child trafficking.
  4. Encourage and support country actions
  5. Investigate the production of awareness raising material… (ribbon, sticker, poster)
  6. Lobby for policy and law reform; and anti-trafficking legislation
  7. Lobby for regional co-operation, bilateral agreements and support services for child victims, and repatriation codes for border and child protection personnel.