Priceless Commodity: An Essay on
Child Trafficking is a form of human trafficking. It is defined as the recruitment, transfer and harbouring of children, for purposes of exploitation (Child Trafficking, www.dictionary.com). The trafficking of children is the third largest global consumer market, especially in areas of Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, with an estimated 1.2 million children being trafficked annually. (UN.GIFT). Since poverty has been in existence, so has child trafficking. “In the nineteenth century, the moral challenge was slavery.” (Nicholas D. Kristof, Half The Sky). The practice of child-trafficking is a very close relative to slavery. The gap between the rich and the poor gives the wealthy an enormous amount of power, and leaves the poor with no choice but to comply. “Human trafficking and slavery, particularly when children are the victims, not only deny fundamental human rights but also testify to an utter failure of our religions, cultures and civilizations.” (Satyarthi, K. Half the Sky Documentary). By examining the root causes, the different types, and the economic factors, one is lead to believe that child trafficking is a global issue that is on the rise and is very unlikely to be eradicated in the near future.
Child Trafficking is a global phenomenon. The children involved come from different walks of life, and there are many different ways for a child to become trapped in the world of trafficking depending on where in the world they live. There are four main causes for child trafficking to exist in our world. The first, and most common is the high rate of parental unemployment. In many countries, parents cannot find jobs for themselves, or make enough money to sustain their loved ones. Traffickers find these families, or the parents set out for opportunities for their children, and are presented with offers they cannot afford to refuse. “I come from a poor, violent family. My father used to beat me. My mother sold me to a brothel when I was 13 years old.' (Anonymous, Art2Healing Project). Parents often don't truly realize what the implications of these actions are, most see this as a chance of employment and work experience for their children. When in reality, the children are being exploited and treated unfairly by their so-called employers. A second cause of child trafficking is the lack of sufficient educational opportunities. In most countries where this practice occurs there are minimal opportunities for children to receive an adequate education or even attend school. They have nothing else to do with their time, and both parents and their offspring are uneducated of the risks involved with selling and trading children. When there is education put in place, teachers are able to spread information about the unsafe environment that these children are involved in, by being taken away from their parents, or running away from home and forced to grow up too fast. “I had a very tough time with my parents. I had a difficult life, and they promised me something. When I arrived there, I had no choice.” (Svetlana, Interview). They need to be taught that it is a child's job to learn, play and help their parents around the home. They should not grow up knowing abuse and exploitation. “It's no accident that the countries that have enjoyed an economic take off have been those that educated children, especially girls and then gave them the autonomy to move to the cities to find work” (Sheryl Wudunn, Half The Sky). As long as education is scarce and not seen as a necessity by governments, nothing can be done to inform these children and their families of the dangers of these forms of child exploitation. A third cause is the high profit that can be made from these practices, and the low risk of being caught or punished. It is nearly impossible for governments to track traffickers down, and when they can, they sometimes simply do not...
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