What Can You(th) Do to Prevent Child Trafficking

This article is part of AASYP’s Break the Chain 2021, which is a programme that highlights innovative solutions to modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour. This article was researched and authored by Break the Chain delegate Oviani.

Children are all people under 18 years of age. They have the right to grow and develop, the right to survival, the right to civil rights and freedoms, and the right to protection from all sorts of violence and discrimination. However, in reality there are still many children around the world whose rights are not fulfilled and experience exploitation, such as children who become a victim of child trafficking.

Child trafficking is defined as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt” of a child for the purpose of exploitation. The ILO estimates that 21 million people are trapped in forced labour or slavery. Of those, it says one in four are under the age of 18. The estimated number of children trafficked around the world is 5.5 million. They suffer violence, exploitation and abuse – ending up in work, forced marriage, prostitution, begging and armed recruitment.

The child trafficking “industry” receives about 12 billion in profits annually. The majority of women and children who are victims of human trafficking worldwide come from Asia. It is estimated that the number is between 250,000 up to 400,000 or about 30% of the global number of the victims worldwide.

Indonesia is a country of origin, transit, and destination of human trafficking. It is estimated that around 40,000 to 70,000 children are trafficked each year in Indonesia, 195,000 are exploited in the commercial sex industry or about 30% of all commercial sex workers in Indonesia. In addition, according to the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) of the Republic of Indonesia, 70 percent of human trafficking victims in Indonesia are women and children.

There are many factors that cause child trafficking in Indonesia, such as:

* Lack of children’s awareness about the perils of child trafficking. They do not understand about the modus operandi used to ensnare them into child trafficking situations.

* Poverty experienced by families that forces children to work and meet family needs

* Low education resulting in unskilled children to compete.

* High dropout rates and illiteracy

* Excessive lifestyle

* Violence against women and children result in them leaving their homes and becoming victims of trafficking and working in high-risk places.

* Early marriage has serious implications for girls including health hazards, dropping out of school, limited economic opportunities, impaired personal development, and often, also early divorce. Divorced girls are legally considered adults and are vulnerable to trafficking because of their economic fragility.

* Debt bondage

* Weak law enforcement and corruption. there are law enforcement and immigration officials who commit corruption so that traffickers can easily bribe them to ignore criminal activities. Government officials can also be bribed to provide false information on identification cards (KTP), birth certificates and passports which make children more vulnerable to trafficking due to illegal migration.

The rise of child trafficking cases indicate that such cases require serious handling. Therefore, apart from the government, the youth as the nation’s next generation must also play a role in preventing child trafficking.

What can we do as young people to prevent child trafficking?

1. Update our knowledge and understanding of the issue of child trafficking. Always find out and update information regarding the situation of child trafficking both globally and nationally in our country.

2. Education to families, friends and the surrounding community to raise their awareness about the perils and modus operandi of child trafficking that frequently occur.

3. To speak out about children’s rights, so that everyone is motivated to fulfill children’s rights, such as children having the right to be protected from all sorts of violence so that everyone is not allowed to trafficking children.

4. Report any cases of child trafficking. Find out what agency in your country can handle the case. In Indonesia itself, there are government agencies, namely integrated services for women and child empowerment, where this agency handles children who are victims of trafficking, besides that the Police in Indonesia have a special unit for Women and Children.

5. Using social media to voice the issue of child trafficking. As we know, technology is getting more and more sophisticated, so that information can spread rapidly. With this sophistication of technology young people can socialize the impact of child trafficking and its modus operandi.

6. Gather with other youth who have concerns about the issue of child trafficking or form a community to work together to make efforts to prevent child trafficking, such as advocating stakeholders who can make policies to prevent child trafficking.

Therefore, we as young people have an important role to take part in eradicating child trafficking!!! 

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