Child victims of trafficking are recruited, transported, transferred, harbored or received for the purpose of exploitation. They may be forced to work in sweatshops, on construction sites or in houses as domestic servants; on the streets as child beggars, in wars as child soldiers, on farms, in traveling sales crews or in restaurants and hotels. Some are forced to work in brothels and strip clubs or for escort and massage services.
Putting a stop to all forms of child trafficking is critical to UNICEF's work.
Child Trafficking in the U.S.
Trafficking is not just an issue that happens to people in other countries. The United States is a source and transit country, and is also considered one of the top destination points for victims of child trafficking and exploitation. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 U.S. States; anyone can be trafficked regardless of race, class, education, gender, age, or citizenship when forcefully coerced or enticed by false promises.
UNICEF's Work in Child Protection
To protect children from exploitation, risk factors such as poverty and discrimination need to be addressed. UNICEF's efforts in countries around the world include:
- Helping to provide a living wage for parents so that their children do not have to work to support the family and can attend school instead;
- Lobbying governments and other partners to develop laws and strengthen child protection systems to prevent and respond to violence and abuse;
- Working with communities and faith-based organizations to change harmful societal norms that make children more vulnerable to exploitation; and
- Supporting the training of professionals working with children including social workers, health workers and police and border officials to help stop trafficking.
The End Trafficking Project
The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. In partnership with concerned individuals and groups, the End Trafficking project aims to stop all exploitation.