European Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings

New publication

Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation and Other Exploitative Purposes

Document number
Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation and Other Exploitative Purposes
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
View/save PDF version of this document
Document type(s)
Child trafficking, South Asia, Prevention, Protection, SAARC Convention, Empowerment, India, Dominican Republic, Human trafficking, Slave Labour, Sexual Exploitation, Begging, Slavery, Servitude, Forced Labour, Removal of organs, Debt bondage, Trafficking forms, Smuggling, Labour exploitation, Domestic labour, Slavery-like practices; Agricultural labour;
The present publication shares the preliminary findings of a study being conducted by the IRC, with the support of the Japan Committee for UNICEF on the protection of children from exploitation, with an emphasis on the practice of trafficking. This research initiative is particularly focused on South Asia. Included in the preliminary findings is a case study from yet another region, Latin America and the Caribbean. This case is included as an illustration of a coordinated effort to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children for the purposes of sex tourism in the Dominican Republic. The IRC research is informed by two fundamental, practical objectives which are widely shared by partners concerned with trafficking. First is the aim to understand more about ‘what works’ in child protection efforts, and especially in the prevention of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Second is the interest to support and promote the mobilization and engagement of families, communities and local government in the prevention of trafficking and the effective reintegration of child victims. The latter interest is inspired by a number of sources, including initiatives promoting good local governance for children’s rights, such as the ‘Child Friendly Cities’ initiative which aims at the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), including Article 35 which specifically addresses child trafficking. Though still in its early phase, three conclusions are already emerging from the research: ● First, it continues to be problematic to determine the exact numbers of victims of trafficking and the severity and consequences of the problem, in any region of the world. This is partly due to the lack of a clear national priority to the collection of such data. However, there are also some very real difficulties to gathering numerical data on a reality as hidden and multi-layered as the trafficking of children, in particular when it is associated with a cross-border phenomenon. It is further difficult to translate these numbers into a meaningful understanding of the concrete effects on children’s lives; ● Second, there is a global proliferation of law and policy addressing child trafficking. Though this cannot be assumed to indicate a corresponding decrease in the numbers of children trafficked, it does reflect a significant increase in public consciousness and political will to address this child protection concern; ● Third, the two case studies under consideration – one in Southern India and one in the Dominican Republic – indicate that it is possible to achieve real results through citizen and governmental action to prevent the exploitation of children. Essential ingredients for a positive outcome appear to include community engagement, local government leadership, and in the case of the Dominican Republic, international cooperation.
Related documents