Children are routinely kidnapped, bought and sold into servitude by people who care little for international law or the well-being of the children they enslave. After their capture, these children are forced to work in sweatshops, making cheaply manufactured goods for global companies, while others are sold into the sex industry. Here are some reasons why you should care about child trafficking.
According to recent reports, more than 5 million children worldwide are held in servitude.
5.5 million children under 18 are victims of forced labor, 26 percent of 20 million enslaved people worldwide.—International Labour Organization
A Global Problem
According to a June 2012 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), 5.5 million children under 18 are victims of forced labor, 26 percent of 20 million enslaved people worldwide. More than half of the total are from the Asia-Pacific region, with Africa at a distant second, but trafficking victims come from all over the globe, including the West.
The numbers have increased dramatically since 2005, the last time a major report about human trafficking was issued by the ILO, because of better methodology and increased reporting of cases. According to the organization, hard data is very difficult to obtain about trafficking, so it's impossible to tell if the number of victims is growing. Nevertheless, both statistics and anecdotal evidence show that trafficking is a major problem worldwide.
Discovering enslaved people is highly difficult because they are usually afraid to report their status to authorities; prosecuting and convicting traffickers is even harder to accomplish. According to a 2012 report by the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UNGIFT), the total number of convictions in human trafficking in 132 countries ranged between 5,500 and 7,000 a year from 2007 to 2010. In 16 percent of the reporting countries, there were no convictions in that time span. These statistics are an improvement from several years ago, but humanitarian and governmental organizations agree that there is much to be done to combat the problem of trafficking humans.
Stop Child Trafficking Now
ChildFund International works with governmental organizations and local partners around the globe to reduce the risks that children will be sold by traffickers. Many countries are taking this sickening trade very seriously, and President Obama recently designated January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Now is the ideal time to support ChildFund in helping children become less vulnerable to traffickers.
We couldn't do the work that we do without the support of our sponsors, donors and others who assist ChildFund. Help us fight child trafficking by making a donation or by speaking out on this issue and building awareness via your social media networks. Together, we can work against child exploitation and ensure that millions of children in need around the world have a brighter future by filling basic needs. To help, please make a donation to Children's Greatest Needs.