The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on governments, communities and families to increase efforts to prevent child trafficking.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman noted that every year globally, about 1.2 million children are trafficked. “Children are trafficked into prostitution, into armed groups to serve as child soldiers, to provide cheap or unpaid labour, and to work as house servants or beggars.”
Trafficking exposes children to violence, sexual abuse, severe neglect, and HIV infection, she pointed out, while violating children’s right to be protected, to grow up in a family environment and to have access to education.
UNICEF called for punishing the perpetrators of human trafficking, which generates an estimated $9.5 billion a year and fuels other criminal activities.