Child Trafficking

Sexual Exploitation in Africa


People should increase funding for child sexual exploitation prevention, specifically for Africa because it can potentially start an AIDS pandemic globally and increase poverty in Africa and other third-world countries.

Background Information

Child Trafficking for sexual exploitation is when a child, mostly around the age 5 to 19 is taken, either by force or by trickery, and smuggled into a different country to be used for different sexual purposes such as prostitution. There are seven stages of child trafficking that most traffickers used to obtain children: Context of Vulnerability, Recruitment, Removal, Transportation, Establishment of Control, Arrival, and Exploitation. It is known as the “third biggest money generator for international syndicates” (Van Vuuren 4). More specifically, child trafficking sexual exploitation is based on the culture. Examples: In South Africa there is a lot of sex tourism and in North West of Africa children are being used a “commodities to be bought and sold” (North West Declares War Against Child Exploitation 1).

Human Rights Violation

Article 1

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Child trafficking is violating article 1 because the traffickers are not acting toward the children in a spirit of brotherhood. Instead, they see them as an item that can be used to obtain money. Even though the children are born with freedom and dignity, they get that taken away from them even though most did nothing wrong to have their freedom stripped from them.

Article 4

  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Child Exploitation violates Article 4 because Child trafficking is modern day slavery; people are being forced to do a certain action upon their own will and right. In Africa, people are forcing children to become a prostitute, a sex tourist, and much more sexual exploitation.

Article 5

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Once the children are tricked or forced into a bus or car, they are sometimes tortured while be transported into a different country. Also, they are being tortured and abused when they are being used a sex slaves in slave trades and have to be prostitutes. This is violating Article 5 because they are degrading the children.

IGOs and NGOs

UN agencies have taken a specific role in helping prevent child trafficking. They are:

  • UNODC as the guardian of the UN Protocol against trafficking in persons

  • UNICEF, promoting the protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation

  • ILO, promoting protection against forced labour and preventing child labour

  • IOM, promoting the protection of migrant workers

  • OHCHR as the custodian of the anti-slavery legal instruments

  • OSCE, fighting human trafficking in its region*

They are doing more much more but this is the overall basics of each UN agencies job and aid in helping prevent trafficking in Africa.

Yes there are. “NGOs working on HIV prevention and treatment in mining areas have reached out to adult and child sex workers in artisanal mines in the Sikasso and the Kayes region, including in large sites such as Alhamdoulaye and Massiogo in Kadiolo circle, M’Pékadiassa in Kolondiéba circle, and Hamdallaye in Kéniéba circle” (Sexual Exploitation and Violence 1). The NGOs who are helping prevent HIV are also helping child sex workers. They are because a “NGO found that over 12 percent of the sex workers they worked with were between the ages of 15 and 19. It also found that the large majority of sex workers were foreigners, mostly from Nigeria” (Seuxal Exploitation and Violence 1). So the traffickers are taking girls from Nigeria and bringing them to Mali, some of them being only 15.

Also, “a national human rights NGO in the Republic of Congo launched a programme on Friday, supported by the US and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), to fight the exploitation and trafficking of children in the country” (NGO Launches Project to Fight Child Exploitation And Trafficking 1). Essentially, the NGOs are also aiding the Rep of Congo by teaming up with the UN and fighting exploitation. These are only specific examples for what the NGOs are doing for the Mali and Rep of Congo ‘sexual exploitation of children issue.’ One could assume that they are aiding other African countries in a similar matter.
Child Trafficking A Concern Before South Africa's World Cup

UNICEF estimates that more than one million children were trafficked globally in 2002. Child Rights Organization warns the football showpiece could mean more children being exploited for labour, sex, or even killed for body parts. They interviewed Julayga Alfred, director of ANEX CW. She said that during these events, adults are intoxicated and children are left alone, which makes those children very vulnerable. Some kids may also be attracted to dangerous areas because of their social class. Parents have to be aware of the danger, and know where their children are at, at all times. JP Smith, memorial committee, stated that It would be irresponsible for a parents to assume that going to this event and leaving will go smoothly.

Also, there isn’t a law against trafficking in south africa, and so activist are calling on the government to fix this. Making it illegal will make it easier to convict defenders.


This issue is a global; it is taken place in most countries, including the U.S. The continents that are heavily known for child trafficking as well as human trafficking is Africa and Asia (Aronowitz 166-186). For example Aronowitz states: “Children: domestic servitude, street vending, agricultural labor, herding, work as barmaids, and commercial sexual exploitation. Coastal sex tourism industry” (166). They come from foreign places, mostly countries in Africa, and get transported to Europe, the Middle East and North America. This is just one example of what is going on in an African country, but there are dozens more.

One of the conditions is that “about 60–80 percent of the crime is domestic, and the bulk of cross‐border trafficking is regional” (Lehti 1) which means it is mainly between neighboring countries/states. Also, that trafficking usually flows from “rural areas to cities and from economically depressed regions to affluent ones,” (Lehti 1) thus making economically unstable countries a target for starting trafficking business. Lastly, “Traffic to industrialized countries is 10–20 percent of the whole; most takes place within and between third‐world countries.” (Lehti 1) which explains why there are a lot of child trafficking throughout Africa. With this, most children who are trafficked are girls because they want prostitutes, sex tourism, and much more. They use girls because girls are more vulnerable and most people who like trafficking are men. So the last condition is girls who are vulnerable because of living conditions, money, etc.

Why Should We Care

We should care because it is something that isn’t morally correct, and those who participate in trafficking needs to be jailed immediately because they do not have any moral standards. Also, because children exploitation, is just abusing children in one of the many ways that can permanently scar them mentally, and most times, even physically. From health, We had to learn about the body, and taking a child virginity at such a young age, can lead to long term effects, like birth problems.

We should care because any caring loving human being would. We know We could never imagine that happening to me or any child that We know. It once again, show that We have morals and care for others. Also, because it just doesn’t impact those who had been targets, it affects everyone because it is a global issue. Many places have child trafficking, even though it is most common in third-world countries (Lehti 1). Child trafficking needs to be stopped, before it spreads quicker and quickly, when traffickers feel as though they won’t get caught.

No one want to have to worry about their child/ brother/ sister/ or themselves being smuggled on their way to school or to any place. With this issue occurring in their country, it is one more thing that people have to worry about. Also, it can affect the economy. With people feeling less safe, they might be afraid to travel as much, thus dropping the travel economy, which affects the global economy. Along with the economy dropping, it will impact the world socially. Countries could become unfriendly with countries that are not really fixing the trafficking problems, thus creating more tension. Then countries are not going to be willing to talk, making the world be divided even more. Lastly, this one little push of having tension toward a country because they ignore trafficking; it can be a big enough push to upset them and declare war. These are only hypothetical statements, but they could easily come true. To prevent this, countries “should concentrate on the main source countries [who have a lot of traffickers] and the most important junctions. This requires efficient police and intelligence cooperation both regionally and internationally. It is also crucial to harmonize national legislation” (Lehti 1).

Not My Life

It is narrated by Glenn Close. It starts off with talking about the child trafficking in Africa. For example, the fishing boys in Lake Volta (Ghana), is living in poverty, so they are given away or sold to relatives or smooth talking strangers that promised to teach them about trade. Instead the traffickers put them to work for 14 hours a day and only are given one meal a day. Those who work there, many die because they get tangled inside of the fish net, when they have to go in the water, and drown. George Achiba, Partners in Community Development, was interviewed. Diseases such as malaria are in the water the boys are in. Kevin Bales, Free the Slaves, was also interviewed. Susan Bissel, UNICEF, was interviewed as well. Most children are given to traffickers mistakenly in Africa, because communities and families have to make a choice of keeping the child or giving them to someone who is richer so they won’t have to live in poverty.

Gazi Por Landfield, in the city of New Dheli. It is illegal for children to be there because it is poisonous, but people let them work there and they hardly get paid.

In Zhoa Prison, the human traffickers are mostly middle men who sell and buy girls (ages around 13 and 14) on the European Continent. They commit vicious crimes but are hardly ever punished. They interview Ovidiu who is a child trafficker. He started fooling around with child trafficking when he was 14. He saw a prostitute in an ad and pretended to be her customer, then locked her up and sold her to other pimps. He saw that he received a lot of money and decided to stick with the business. The surprising thing is, Ovidiu come from a wealthy family. He would beat them with his fist and feet.

Actions Still Need to be Taken

Not many actions can be addressed because this is hard issue to delete globally since traffickers are not really on the “radar.” The UN and its agencies along with the NGOs are doing the best they can do to prevent sexual exploitation. They can only search for the traffickers and hope to find them. They are promoting, and making projects to fight against this human violation.

Even though the UN and the NGOs are doing their best, others are not. The AU could aid its own country since this is a major issue among Africans. If they are not going to aid the UN or NGOs with help preventing child trafficking, they could at least make this issue more aware to other countries that are not third-world countries. This issue is global but it is impacting third-world countries more so countries that hardly have as much trafficking are not concerned with the issue. But if the AU made it more aware and showed what they did to the children, the other countries may try to help out and decrease exploitations.

Lastly, governments in Africa needs to stop being so corrupt and making deals with traffickers to allow this to happen. Some of the African governments are really horrible such as South Africa, and needs to elect a new government immediately. They should have enough sympathy to know what is going on and want to stop it.

Actions that individuals can take are simply rising aware throughout the world as well. More awareness means more prevention and aid. Also, people could maybe donate to charities that help with preventing child trafficking and more specifically sexual exploitation.

Individuals cannot really do much because it isn’t easy to spot trafficker. The only other they can do is tell the police if they realize that a child is being a abuse sexually. The major thing is to just raise awareness.