Understanding Child Trafficking, Baby Trafficking, Child Labor, and Child Soldiers: FREE
Understanding child trafficking, baby trafficking, child labor, and child soldiers and Facilitation Guide to get
involved. Please share this valuable information with others. Remember, enlightenment and education are among the
chief tools in the fight against Human Trafficking. Get involved!
UPDATE: Launch of training manuals to fight trafficking in children. Please download FREE Textbooks to learn
more about this issue and what you can do to protect your children from predators and maybe facilitate a Workshop
to help raise awareness of this serious issue in your community.
Forward from Textbook One
Understanding Child Trafficking:
Trafficking in human beings and, more especially, trafficking in children has been high on the international
agenda for more than a decade. The trafficking of children is a serious human rights violation. Only recently,
however, has the international community recognized that child trafficking is also undeniably a labour issue. While
most people are now aware that children and women (and sometimes boys and men) are trafficked into the world’s
commercial sex trade, children’s right to be free of exploitation is violated in many other ways. Children are
frequently trafficked into labour exploitation in agriculture, both long-term and on a seasonal basis. They may
toil in a variety of manufacturing industries, from large-scale sweatshops to small craft workshops.
In some parts of the world, children are exploited in mining or in fisheries. Girls in particular are trafficked
into child domestic labour. Children are also trafficked into the militia and into armed gangs in conflict zones
and, while this may not strictly be ‘labor’, it is nevertheless true that the children are effectively put to work
in these situations, not only as soldiers but in a variety of jobs such as cooking, acting as couriers and, for
girls especially, providing sexual services to adult combatants. Many children are moved away from their homes and
are exploited in the informal economy, where they are even more difficult to trace and at high risk of many forms
of violence. Criminal networks and individuals exploit children in begging, street hawking, car window cleaning and
other street-based activities.
Some children are exploited as drug couriers or dealers or in petty crime such as pick-pocketing or burglary.
Some of these activities may not immediately be seen as ‘labour’. The reality is, however, that they have a
commercial motive and the child is seen by those seeking to make a profit from trafficking as easy prey to exploit.
The same commercial motive is at work in the specific case of trafficking of babies for adoption and, although the
element of ‘labour’ might be missing in this case, there are areas where programme responses of ILO, UNICEF and
other agencies might coincide; for example the registration and monitoring of recruitment agencies is important in
anti-trafficking efforts and similarly the registration and monitoring of adoption agencies is important in actions
to prevent baby trafficking.
The ILO has thorough experience in the world of work. Its unique tripartite structure facilitates analysis and
action that is anchored in the realities of labour markets and structures. For almost a decade, ILO’s International
Programme on the Elimination of Child labour (IPEC) and its partner organizations have worked to combat the
trafficking of children as a ‘worst form of child labour’ and have built up considerable expertise in the vital
links between child trafficking and labour exploitation. IPEC, together with the ILO’s International Training
Centre (ITC) in Turin, Italy, has pioneered training for a broad range of actors involved in combating child
UNICEF is the United Nations’ primary agency focusing on the rights of children and approaches trafficking as a
serious violation of these rights. UNICEF’s work in the area of child protection is based on the need to create a
‘protective environment’ that will reduce children’s vulnerability to being trafficked, as well as increasing their
protection from other threats to the full enjoyment of all their rights. Work within the framework of the
‘protective environment’ emphasizes the importance of prevention. By working to reinforce the protective
environment for all children, UNICEF’s approach strives to reduce the vulnerability of children to abuse, violence
and exploitation of all kinds.
ILO, UNICEF and the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) launched the ‘Training manual to
fight trafficking in children for labour, sexual and other forms of exploitation’ on 15 September 2009. It is one
of few manuals on trafficking that specifically focuses on children, includes a focus on labor issues, and is
geared towards training.
It is comprised of textbooks for self study and an exercise book with a menu of assignment options that trainers
can choose from for tailor-made training courses.
It also includes a facilitators’ guide for use by those facilitating training. The manual addresses the needs of
governments; workers’ and employers’ organizations; and NGOs and international agencies working at the policy and
outreach level. Given the dynamic and evolving nature of child trafficking (and its responses), we intend to update
the manual regularly.
Please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or
write to the Child Protection Section, Programme Division, UNICEF.