Under international law, child trafficking is a crime involving the movement of children for the purpose of their exploitation
The concept is defined in the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children of 2000, known as the Trafficking Protocol . It supplements the UN Convention against Trans-national Organized Crime.
Child trafficking is defined a Worst Forms of Child Labour according to ILO Convention No. 182 of 1999, or C182. It classifies trafficking among “forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery” and hence a worst form of child labour to be eliminated as a matter of urgency.
Short Definition: A child has been trafficked if the child has been moved within a country, or across borders, whether by force or not, with the purpose of exploitation
The two forms of human trafficking constitute the world’s third largest illegal trade, after arms and drug trafficking
The concept of child trafficking can be unpacked further drawing primarily from these two international instruments.
Overview of C182 – Worst forms of child labour
A child is a person under the age of 18 years;
Organised movement of a child
Purpose of the movement: exploitation;
Movement that renders the child vulnerable
No force or deception is required (regarding children)
Minimum Age of Employ-ment Convention, 1973 (C138)
Covers ‘employment’ and ‘work’ more broadly
Children under 15
Minimum age for work:15 years
Laws may permit light work for children of 13 and 14
But work may not be harmful for their development
Exemptions may be made in exceptional cases
e.g. Performing arts
Law may not allow them to do work
which is likely to jeopardize their health, development etc.
Worst forms of child labour convention, 1999 (C182)
Commercial sexual exploitation
All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery
Using of children in illegal activities
Children in very hazardous activities
To be defined by each country
“ Usual” production methods may be hazardous to children
Because of their higher vulnerability
. ILO members realised there is a need to prioritise the Worst Forms of Child Labour
Definitions: Child work, child labour and worst forms of child labour All regarding work by children under 18 years
Child labour is work by a child that is
exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappro-priate for the child’s age;
detrimental to the child’s schooling;
detrimental to the child’s social, physical, mental, spiritual or moral development.
is work that is not bad for a child’s health, schooling or development
Example: reasonable household chores that do not affect schooling
Worst Forms of Child Labour
Commercial sexual exploitation of children
Children used by adults to commit crime
Very hazardous work
Main elements of child trafficking definition (1)
is a person under the age of 18 years
Organised movement of a child
someone has organised the movement of a child - a transaction is involved
Movement that renders the child vulnerable
may be across international borders or within a country and where the movement has rendered the child vulnerable, and the vulnerability was planned to be exploited.
do not have close relatives at their destination, do not have money or means to return home,
cannot speak the language, are disadvantaged by their legal status,
suffer a lack of access to basic services (education and health care),
or do not know the environment
Main elements of child trafficking definition (2)
Movement for exploitation:
The trafficking protocol (Article 3(a)) provides that exploitation includes:
the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation,
forced labour or services,
slavery or practices similar to slavery,
the removal of organs
By stating that exploitation these kinds of exploitation it is clear that other kinds of exploitation are also included in the definition, such as labour exploitation .
Exploitation can occur at the beginning, middle or end of the trafficking process.
All those who have contributed to it and knew that what they did was likely to lead to the exploitation of the child
recruiters, intermediaries, document providers, transporters, corrupt officials, employers and exploiters – are traffickers.
Conversely, a person moving a child without the intention, knowledge or suspicion that the child would be exploited is not likely to be a trafficker
Main elements of child trafficking definition (3)
Movement for labour exploitation
When read with the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention – C182 , in the context of child labour, labour exploitation of children includes all kinds of work that exploits a child .
This overlaps with the forms of exploitation referred to in trafficking protocol.
But also includes work which ,
by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children
all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict (Convention 182, Art. 3(a));
the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances (C182, Art. 3(b));
the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties (C182, Art. 3(c));
work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children (C182, Art. 3(d) and C138, Art. 3);
Covers a broader scope of vulnerability and areas of exploitation of children
Main elements of child trafficking definition (4)
No force or deception is required - regarding children
child trafficking occurs whether the child was moved voluntarily or by force
provided the other elements of the definition are met.
If during or soon after the child's movement there are elements of force, violence, or unreasonable restriction of the child movement at their place of work, or other harmful effects of the work on them
it would be a strong indication that trafficking may have occurred.
How is child trafficking different to trafficking in adults?
Difference in definition
State custodian of all children
What does this mean?
That we must be much more protective towards children?
Services to CHILDREN should be prioritised (rather than to adults)?
Belief that the outline presented will
promote also the use of C182 with the other international protocols and regional charters and local legislative frameworks and
the interests of vulnerable groups including children as a specific group affected by human trafficking
Definition of Trafficking vs.Migration
Where the movement of the child was not done with the purpose of exploitation , this is not child trafficking even where the child still ends up in exploitation.
Even where the movement has led to greater vulnerability of the child and to labour exploitation.
National laws may provide that migration-related child labour, even where this falls outside of the definition of child trafficking, is considered a worst form of child labour.
Ito Article 3(d) of C182 worst forms include work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of the child.
These kinds of work must be determined by national laws or regulations, after consultation with the organisations of employers and workers concerned.
Role of different UN agencies re trafficking
UNODC : United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Custodian obo UN on trafficking in general tasked with assisting states to ratify and implement provisions of the international Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish the Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
IOM : International Organization for Migration
Promotes the positive management of migration and the protection of the rights of migrants globally, and works closely with the UN system through global agreement on various issues. Focus on regional activities (cross-border trafficking)
UNICEF : United Nations Children’s Fund
Support implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which includes the protection of children from exploitation and abuse, including trafficking
ILO: International Labour Organization
Trafficking in children for purposes of labour exploitation, which constitutes one of the worst forms of child labour and amount to forced labour ito C182
Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
United Nations launched the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT).
The Steering Committee for this initiative involves a number of UN agencies at global level.
The Southern African cooperation initiative on trafficking is a first-of-a-kind regional development that builds on the UN.GIFT
At the heart of the issue is closer collaboration and teamwork
Among international agencies, governments and NGOs
The organisations asserted two factors, in particular, are critical to combating human trafficking
Dedicated legislation on trafficking within every country and
Effective working agreements between countries
Close cooperation will enhance
strengthen the pool of expertise and
enable the agencies to provide better support to the Southern African region as a whole.
thereby enhancing the prospect of cross-border working agreements between countries.
Nature & extend of child trafficking in sub-region
Widely agreed that there is an absence of reliable information regarding the extent to which trafficking in person is taking place either globally or on the African continent itself.
The clandestine & transnational nature thereof makes it extremely difficult to apprehend or prosecute offenders or to verify information ito the scope and nature of the problem.
Some efforts have been made to quantify the extent of trafficking on the global scale.
US government sponsored research report, 2006 approx 800 000 people are trafficked across national borders every year
this figure does not include those trafficked within their own countries.
80% of transnational victims are women and girls and
50% are minors.
UNICEF correctly points out that their estimated figure 700,000 women and children trafficked every year in the world has yet to be tested scientifically.
With this proviso in mind the following outline of the extent of the problem of trafficking in women and children
Nature & extend of child trafficking in sub-region – South Africa (1)
According to the TIP report SA is a source, transit & destination country for trafficked men, women, and children.
SA girls are trafficked internally for
commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude
primary provinces of origin are the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal & primary provinces of destination are Gauteng and the Western Cape
African countries are trafficked to SA for
commercial sexual exploitation & domestic servitude: women and girls
agricultural labour: boys and young men
Thai, Chinese, & Eastern European are trafficked to SA for
debt-bonded commercial sexual exploitation.
Another aspect that manifests itself in SA is the trafficking of refugees
Cape Town has been singled out as the principle destination point for trafficked victims of refugee producing countries.
Nature & extend of child trafficking in sub-region – South Africa (2)
Causal or facilitating factors:
An increase in unemployment and poverty
High drop-out rates at school levels
Inadequate service provision & poor understanding of policy implementation on the part of service providers
An increased demand for sex with children from SA
Lack of awareness about the concepts of sexual exploitation and trafficking
Lack of arrests and convictions of traffickers and sex offenders
Trafficking to SA
the economic situation in SA
factors such as the breakdown in extended and nuclear families
changes in cultural attitudes and practices
Despite the existence of available info, the exact numbers of children being trafficked in and outside SA has not been quantified and neither has the actual monetary income that this illegal activity generates been established.
Nature & extend of child trafficking in sub-region – Botswana
Is named as a transit country for children being trafficked from other countries into SA for child labour, including commercial sexual exploitation
Rapid Assessment study undertaken by ILO only identified 2 children that had been trafficked.
Traditional movement of children between sections of the family was widespread
purposes of care or education, which constitutes child fostering within the framework of the extended family
in return, child is instructed and expected to perform duties such as child minding, livestock herding, fetching water, running errands, and performing other domestic duties
Local journalist noted that while the situation is not as extreme as in other countries it is indeed a problem.
Internal trafficking manifests through the proactive “sale” of children by parents who cannot support them or the targeting of poor families by people who take their children away with the promise of food, clothes and education.
domestic workers or farm labourers.
Is prevalent in areas adjacent to farms, where there is likely to be an occurrence of child labour , which in Botswana is closely linked with child trafficking.
Nature & extend of child trafficking in sub-region – Lesotho
Is named as a country of
origin for trafficking in women and children
mainly to SA
transit and destination to a lesser extent
both male and female
from Maseru are trafficked
out of the country
by long distance truck driver for sexual exploitation purposes
become sex-slaves who are on route to other African countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi
Nature & extend of child trafficking in sub-region – Namibia
Substantive information regarding trafficking of persons is not readily available.
The TIP report provides no information.
The ILO rapid assessment study undertaken
only identified and interviewed 8 children who were trafficked for
domestic/agricultural work, commercial sexual exploitation or any other work.
however did hear of other cases where trafficking was known or suspected.
internal trafficking found of girls as young as 13 and 14
moved from Keepmanshoop, Okahadja to Oshikango
cross border trafficking
10 Namibian prostitutes were among 188 14-25-year-old foreign prostitutes freed from British brothels, massage parlours and private homes since February 2006.
Nature & extend of child trafficking in sub-region – Swaziland
Substantive information regarding trafficking of persons extremely limited.
The TIP report provides no information.
The ILO rapid assessment study undertaken
Research involved the collection of qualitative data from a sample of 110 Swazi children employed as
domestic workers, herders, farm workers, vendors and gardeners.
Research findings indicated that
Initial contact leading to their employment in distant places was usually made at the children’s homes, and often involved family or relatives.
Potential employers promised employment, cash payment, and/or care and upkeep.
While most of the promises were kept, others were not.
Most of the children did not oppose the idea of being employed because they wanted to
escape poverty and deprivation and
improve their standard of living and that of the family as a whole.
Most of the children were not related or previously known to their employers.
Working conditions of the children were often characterised by long hours of hard work, without rest, almost throughout the week.
This state of affairs left them without time to play, relax, and interact with others, still less to do schoolwork.
However, some of the findings suggest that not all of children in the sample were trafficked in the sense understood by some of the international legal instruments.
ILO Programme in sub-region
International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour
Programme Towards the Elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour (TECL)
Government; Labour; Business
IPEC programme: also works with NGOs
Covering 5 countries
South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia
To assist the countries to set up informed national action programmes for the elimination of child labour (BLNS)
To assist the countries to implement key actions steps identified in national action programmes for the elimination of child labour (SA)
As required by the countries’ ratification of ILO C182: Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: CLPA (1)
The Child Labour Programme of Action
National effort by government, organised business, organised labour and civil society to address child labour
It includes strategies to work towards the elimination of worst forms of child labour, including Child Trafficking
Departments of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Social Development
The CLPA has been updated in 2007 from its initial version in 2003 – now called the CLPA-2, and will run 2008-2012
See the child trafficking steps at www.child-labour.org.za
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: Pilots (2)
On-the-ground pilot projects in Gauteng
Addresses commercial sexual exploitation of children and child trafficking
Collaborate with already existing organisation: 6 pilot programme
Hillbrow, Pretoria, Winterveldt
Focus on prevention . Activities incl.:
Development of awareness raising material to children at risk
Training of peer educators and outreach work
Bridging / remedial teaching
Focus on withdrawal . Activities incl.:
Establishment of 24h crisis centre (the 1 st in Jhb!)
Support to shelters
Support to outreach activities
Focus on educational rehabilitation . Activities incl.:
Development of life skills material
Compiling education and health profile on CSEC/CT children
Compiling directory of education / skills development opportunities available to CSEC/CT children in reality (what has proved to work, where?)
Assistance to access formal and informal education
Focus on mainstreaming
Feed lessons learnt and successful methods into relevant government structures, and fill gaps to improve circumstances of these children
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: Research (3)
Research: (get a clearer picture of nature and extent)
Situation analysis, policy and literature review on CSEC & CT – finalised
Very few grassroots organisations specialising in these two worst forms of child labour
No national policies (other than Child Labour Programme of Action)
Falls between the mandate of many government departments
Often confusion re where responsibility lie
Gaps in handovers of children
Exact extent not known – little reliable data due to the mostly hidden nature
More research (snapshots) under preparation
Educational profile of children benefiting from the programme
Qualitative research on these two worst forms of child labour at key sites
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: Legislation (4)
Assistance with legislation dealing with child trafficking
One of the most comprehensive attempts to assess responses by governments to the problem of trafficking is the annual TIP Report of the US State Department.
The 7th annual TIP report was released on 12 June 2007.
South Africa is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show increasing efforts to address trafficking over the last year
Ironic, as the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 has been passed, albeit not promulgated.
The lack of specific anti-trafficking statutes and explicit penalties for trafficking crimes continued to hamper law enforcement efforts
To enhance its ability to combat trafficking,
the government should fully implement the provisions of the Children's Act against child trafficking as it specifically criminalises child trafficking
raise awareness among government officials as to their responsibilities under these provisions;
develop procedures for victim protection, incl the screening of undocumented immigrants for signs of victimisation before deportation;
ensure the Human Trafficking Inter-Sectoral Task Team is granted the authority to play its coordination role;
government should compile national statistics on trafficking cases prosecuted and victims assisted, as it does for other crimes.
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: Legislation (4)
Section 110: Reporting a child in need of care and protection
110. (1) Any … or volunteer worker … who on reasonable grounds concludes that a child has been abused in a manner causing physical injury, sexually abused or deliberately neglected or involving exploitation , if it is in the best interest of the child concerned, must report that conclusion to …
305. (1) A person is guilty of an offence if that person—
(a) commits an act in contravention of the prohibition set out in section 12(2), (3), (4), (6), (7), or (8), or section 141(1) ;
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: Legislation Cont (5)
Section 141: Exploitative child labour – new to align with C138 and C182 & seriousness of crime
141. (1) No person may—
(a) use, procure or offer a child, or attempt to do so, for slavery or practices similar to slavery including but not limited to debt bondage, servitude and serfdom, and forced or compulsory labour or provision of services;
(b) use, procure, or offer a child, or attempt to do so, for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation;
(c) use, procure or offer a child, or attempt to do so, for the commission of any offence listed in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977;
(d) require or permit a child to engage for that person’s benefit in begging or scavenging or collecting waste from waste dumps or garbage.
(2) A court may convict a person who contravenes section 141(1)(c) of both –
(a) an offence in terms of section 141(1)(c); and
(b) if that person also commits the offence that they used, procured or offered a child to commit, or attempted to do so, that offence.
(3) If a person is convicted of a offence in terms of sub-section 1 read with section 305(1)(b) the court on convicting that person and determining a sentence must consider as a factor in aggravation of sentence –
(a) that South Africa has ratified the International Labour Organisation’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999;
(b) that the offence constitutes a worst form of child labour in terms of that Convention.
(4) A social worker or social service professional who becomes aware of instances of child labour or contraventions of the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 must report it to the Department of Labour, in the manner as will be prescribed.
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: Legislation Cont (6)
Amendments required regarding the s 75 Act - Definitions
Definition: ‘abuse’ …
(d) child labour that involves the exploitation of a child [a labour practice that exploits a child]; or …
Definition: 'exploitation’ …
(a) any activity prohibited in terms of section 141(1); and
(b) the removal or attempted removal of body parts
TECL activities against child trafficking in South Africa: Asset Forfeiture (7)
To pilot action regarding asset forfeiture as an intervention to discourage worst forms of child labour, including child trafficking;
Taking action against perpetrators benefiting from proceeds derived from criminal activities
Two legged process
Civil proceeding: seizing of assets derived from criminal activities
Criminal proceedings: prosecuting of perpetrator
Prosecutor to proof the instrumentality of the asset to the illegal activity
Run pilot project together with the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the NPA aimed at seizing of assets related to cases of worst forms of child labour
Put in place tools & programmes to facilitate future asset forfeiture activities in the context of WFCL
To identify potential cases regarding WFCL incl CT where asset forfeiture could be an appropriate intervention
To advise on what measures should be put in place to protect those involved incl the children and to involve other players as needed to facilitate protection of such children
Once potential cases are identified assist with the draw up an initial dossier and to facilitate action to be taken to seize assets in appropriate cases
To assist the AFU in the preparation of asset forfeiture proceedings as appropriate, in particular, to provide expert evidence relating to the prevalence of the particular type of WFCL
In general, to raise awareness within the justice sector on worst forms of child labour, including child trafficking and the need to consider asset forfeiture measures
To draw up guidelines to be used for future cases of potential asset forfeiture
Lessons learnt so far & action required (1)
Role of Government
The absence of a specific law on child trafficking is a serious loophole that undermines the global effort to stop child trafficking.
Often not clear which government department to approach: Protocols are needed and must be enforced
All children to be treated equally – including immigrant and refugee children: departments must take responsibility for these children ito monitoring and facilitate assistance required such as issuing of required documentation to enable access to schools, grants etc.
Organisations assisting these children are
Swamped with children in dire need
More shelter beds must be secured
Financially struggling – difficult to access state funding
Sufficient & continued funding must be secured
Insufficient human resources – high turnover in staff/volunteers, each child is very time consuming
Struggling to get documents for children – no identity book / birth certificate no grant, no access to school
Struggling to get children into school
Real access to education & skills training must be secured
Lessons learnt so far & action required (2)
Greater community awareness
Of worst forms of child labour, including child trafficking is needed
Ubuntu is still alive !
What can you do?
Applauded the progress made by South Africa in developing legislation against child trafficking but urged to move with speed to put such laws into effect!
To promote the need for legislative and judicial intervention!
TECL child trafficking activities in BLNS countries
Research on trafficking of children:
Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland completed
Will be used to inform a 5-country report on child trafficking – end Oct 07
CT is not an offence in the BLNS countries
National Action Programme on the Elimination of Child labour being drafted in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland
All will address the issue of child trafficking
TECL action on child trafficking on region level
To assist other UN agencies in addressing issues regarding trafficking in children
Regional agreements / protocols / instruments:
drafting or ensuring that current drafts are aligned with the countries’ efforts to eliminate child trafficking
for SARPCCO countries: UNODC
handbook on trafficking to be used for training prosecutors, immigration officials and social workers in SA: IOM
Support to regional forums
Participates in sub-regional conferences
such as Africa Regional Conference: IAWJ
C182 read with other international laws and protocols
highlights the difference between child trafficking and adult trafficking
Nature of vulnerabilities exposed to requiring specific action and support to children
Provides broader category of exploitation to be considered
Labour exploitation – incl worst forms of child labour
Need to push to get legislation in place / implemented as priority if in place
Need to consider international laws / protocols etc
Can also be used as an interim measure with constitutions in place!