Friday, June 19, 2009

Is it Possible to Eradicate all Forms of Child Neglect and Abuse

Topic: Harsh judicial punishments as a form to eradicate child abuse and trafficking.


Each year, millions of girls and boys are exploited; they are raped, slaved in the global sex trade, or sold and trafficked in a multi-billion dollar industry.

Children worldwide suffer from abuse every day. Not too many people are aware of the different kinds of abuse the children undergo not because they do not care, but because it is not publicized enough for anyone to do anything about it. Human rights groups have mainly focused on the rights of adults rather than children- chiefly the reason why this issue has not yet been solved. The maltreatment of children, let alone anyone, should not be tolerated anywhere.

This has been an issue of major concern for the international community in recent years. Trafficking in persons, the illegal practice of procuring human beings for unpaid work in physically abusive settings, has reached large scales lately, with figures such as 1.2 million children annually being transported from poverty-stricken countries to wealthier nations. The trafficking of children often involves exploitation of the parents' extreme poverty. The latter may sell children to traffickers in order to pay off debts or gain income, or they may be deceived concerning the prospects of training and a better life for their children. This is increasingly prevalent in West Africa, where unfortunate children are trafficked to European nations where they are forced into slavery, prostitution, and exploitative labor in shops and factories.

With this in mind, we must determine an efficient method to deal with the issue of trafficking children worldwide.

History of the Problem

On the night of November 20th, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the world’s most widely ratified treaty in the world. They put together the Convention on the Rights of the Child, placing children’s rights on the world’s agenda. The Convention had promised children around the world the right to life, education, freedom and health care. In addition, it provides protection from many things: protection to those children in armed conflict; protection from discrimination against race or ethnicity; protection from torture or vindictive, inhuman or humiliating treatment or punishment; protection within the justice system and protection from economic utilization.

This can make facilitate medical personnel, social workers, childcare workers, etc. The Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children commenced in April 2001, aims to hasten the stop of corporal punishment of children around the world. Writing to the Minister of Education and local school boards could help. As the human rights movement was founded out of concern for political dissidents, it has sometimes overlooked those like children whose persecution is unrelated to their political views. There were also reports of recruitment in Liberia (Tobli) and even in Ghana. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should organize a special workshop for all relevant treaty bodies, special procedures and United Nations bodies and agencies to inspect child violence and ways in which existing United Nations human rights mechanisms can more efficiently address this issue. In parts of the world, this may come as a shock to all, sometimes as young as six years old, children are forced to work under extremely harsh conditions, often as bonded laborers or forced prostitution. Last but not least, the World Organization to Prevent Torture/OMCT works against torment, summary executions, and forced disappearances, including such abuses against children.

Main organizations against Child abuse and trafficking.

There are several organization that are really concern about the child abuse and trafficking issue such as:

Serving Our World
It is dedicated to improving the lives of neglected children in remote communities all over the world but also they are performing an International Campaign Against Child Trafficking.

“Touching lives, building futures”

World Concern

Thy have the “I Am A Child” program in process and the goal of it is to reduce the number of children ensnared in sex trafficking with prevention and protection programs targeting victimized or at-risk children. They work to protect children in the border regions of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, where people are most vulnerable to the lure of traffickers.

“Protecting the most vulnerable, Helping children in need”

Save the Children Alliance

Save the Children is committed to Children's Rights Programming as an approach to all its work. The overall goal is to create an environment, which is respectful to children's rights.

Polaris Project

Polaris Project's vision is for a world without slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002.

“For a world without slavery”

Stolen Childhood
The main motto of the organizations is to fight against trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of women and children.

Current Situation

Nowadays, child trade is one of the worst forms of violation of human rights throughout the world. According to the ILO it affects about 1.2 million children every year, including hundreds of thousands of children in West Africa alone.

In the sub-region, children are trafficked for domestic work, work in plantations or illegal workshops, small business, begging, soliciting, the sex trade or are recruited by armed groups. They make up a cheap or unpaid workforce who can work anything from 10 to 20 hours per day, carrying heavy loads, using dangerous tools, without being given enough to eat and drink. This trafficking exposes children to violence, child abuse and HIV infection and contravenes their right to be protected, to grow up in a family and to have access to education.

In Togo, for example the phenomenon of cross-border child trafficking is extremely widespread.

* 313 000 Togolese children between 5 and 15 years old work in urban zones in Togo or in foreign countries and are treated as almost slaves.
* 74% of these children are girls.
* 66% of children between 15 and 18 years old are victims of forced labour.

The girls are destined to work as maids or in the markets, mainly abroad (Gabon, Benin, Niger, Nigeria), and the boys are sent to Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire or Benin to work in agricultural plantations.

It is the same process most of the time : agents working for organized child trafficking networks infiltrate poor communities with tempting offers of schooling and an income that means going somewhere else to find. The children recruited - with or without parental approval - leave their family home in the hope of being able to earn enough money to support their families financially, pursue their education or just in order to be able to buy material goods such as a bicycle or a radio cassette player.

In West Africa the exploitation of children for begging purposes is widespread as seen in the phenomenon of the talibés (those children who attend Koranic school). Senegal is particularly affected, with more than 100 000 beggar children (according to UNICEF) throughout the country, most of whom are talibés. These young boys aged between 3 and 15 years old are entrusted to a Koranic teacher (a marabout) by their parents to receive a religious education. However, instead of concentrating on their religious studies, the boys are forced to beg every day to make up for the lack of their marabout’s means to look after them financially. With time, this practice has turned into a form of child exploitation and the boys are very often mistreated physically if they don’t return with the set amount of money that has been fixed for them to collect each day. As a result, these children are very vulnerable as they live in conditions of extreme poverty, suffering from malnutrition, without access to health care and are victims of violence.

In spite of the existence of two laws ; one forbidding the exploitation of children and another that makes begging illegal (April 2005), Senegal has become a kind of meeting place for begging and the destination for young beggars coming from all over the sub-region.

Recent advances

* In the last years there have been important advances talking about sex trafficking of children. The most important are:

o The program “I am a child” of World Concern Asia that with prevention and protection programs reducing the risk.
o Recently a Nigerian trafficking red has been eradicated in Europe and United States.

Important Facts.

* UNICEF estimates that 1,000 to 1,500 Guatemalan babies and children are trafficked each year for adoption by couples in North America and Europe.
* Girls as young as 13 (mainly from Asia and Eastern Europe) are trafficked as “mail-order brides.” In most cases these girls and women are powerless and isolated and at great risk of violence.
* Large numbers of children are being trafficked in West and Central Africa, mainly for domestic work but also for sexual exploitation and to work in shops or on farms. Nearly 90 per cent of these trafficked domestic workers are girls.
* Children from Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana are trafficked to Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Gabon. Children are trafficked both in and out of Benin and Nigeria. Some children are sent as far away as the Middle East and Europe.
* Surveys indicate that 30 to 35 per cent of all sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are between 12 and 17 years of age.
* Mexico’s social service agency reports that there are more than 16,000 children engaged in prostitution, with tourist destinations being among those areas with the highest number.
* In Lithuania, 20 to 50 percent of prostitutes are believed to be minors. Children as young as age 11 are known to work as prostitutes. Children from children’s homes, some 10 to 12 years old, have been used to make pornographic movies.

UN Actions

In the last years UNICEF has advanced notoriously in terms of judicial punishments for eradicate child abuse and trafficking around the world and has give numerous rules for this.

This association has made people to view problems from another way and to think how to get a better planet.

Many associations around the world are helping UNICEF.


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