Child trafficking is increasing and two-thirds of victims are girls

Trafficking in children is increasing and girls and young women in particular are being targeted and forced into “modern slavery.”

The 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows one in three trafficking victims are children – and two-thirds of those are girls. The number of children being trafficked has increased by 5% over the period 2007-10.

In Africa and the Middle East, children made up more than 60% of all trafficking victims, according to the report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Child trafficking victims end up in servitude, slavery and child labour, which prevent millions of children from going to school and learning and dooms them to a cycle of poverty and depression.

Trafficking is a global problem. UNODC found at least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination for trafficking victims – and more than 510 trafficking flows criss-crossing the world.

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said: “Unfortunately, the report shows there is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking. Official data reported to UNODC by national authorities represent only what has been detected. It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse.”

The report revealed regional variations. Victims in Europe and Central Asia are mostly trafficked for sexual exploitation but in East Asia and the Pacific forced labour drives the market. Both types are found equally In the Americas.

The latest figures come just after End Child Slavery Week highlighted the plight of 5.5 million child slaves worldwide and days after the publication of the 2014 Global Slavery Index

End Child Slavery Week events included the #UpForSchool youth rally in London on November 19. Child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi – joint winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize – told the rally: “Freedom is divine, freedom is truth. Every child has the right to be free and to be educated. Slavery is one of the worst forms of violence but denial of the right to learn is another form of violence.”

You can send a message to world leaders that no child should be working or in slavery when they should be in school. Sign the #UpForSchool Petition now.

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