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Child Trafficking, Its Types and Mechanisms Research Paper

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Updated: May 12th, 2021


The modern age is considered to be the era of humanism that has the only highest value, which is a human being, its life, and dignity. For this reason, there are numerous attempts to create a new and ideal environment that will be deprived of social stigmas and provide people with the best conditions for their personal and professional development. Unfortunately, we are still far from this ideal society as the world faces numerous problems that deteriorate the quality of life and make people suffer. These issues could be considered remnants of the past; however, their positions are still powerful, and some of these problems have a systemic character. Child trafficking is one of these nagging problems.


Thus, the given term could be defined as a sort of human trafficking and exploitation related to children and performed to recruit, transport, or steal a child with the purpose of slavery, different forms of child labor, exploitation, and generation of profit (“What is child trafficking?” n.d.). The increased importance of the given concern results in the appearance of diverse investigations devoted to the issue. Thus, researchers tend to differentiate some fundamental aspects traditionally associated with child trafficking. The first one is the types of child trafficking (UNICEF, n.d.). Perfectly realizing the illegal character of this aspect, malefactors use diverse ways to exploit a child and use him/her. The three basic types include forced labor, sexual exploitation, and drug dealing.

Types of Trafficking


The first form of child trafficking is not new as, for centuries, children have been used in diverse industries with different purposes. However, today the given type of recruitment is strongly prohibited. However, many illegal organizations or criminals make children work, usually under horrible conditions. Child labor usually refers to children who work under legal age (usually 14 years) (UNICEF, n.d.). At the moment, about 150 million children are engaged in forced labor globally, and there is a tendency toward the further deterioration of the situation (UNICEF, n.d.). Additionally, young people might be sold by their parents to earn some money which makes the situation even more complex as children become deprived of any protection and chances for a happy life.


Another type of child trafficking is closely related to the previous one as, very often, malefactors force children to provide sexual services to clients who are ready to pay for it. The existing legal environment bans child prostitution, pornography, and sexual exploitation (UNICEF, 2011). However, the stable demand for this kind of good preconditions the high number of cases involving this sort of child trafficking. Such issues as sex tourism, prostitution, sex shows, etc., are topical regarding the trafficking of boys, girls, and adolescents for the sex trade (“Child trafficking awareness,” n.d.). It is extremely difficult to struggle against this phenomenon because of its criminal and concealed nature. Unfortunately, about 2 million children are used in the sphere of sexual services (UNICEF, 2011).


Finally, in some poor states, young people might be used by drug dealers to assist in the development of this illegal business and promote its spread (ILO, n.d.). They are exploited because of the peculiarities of the legislation that provides less severe punishment for young people under the age of 14 (“Child trafficking awareness,” n.d.). In such a way, many children are forced to be drug dealers. In numerous cases, they become addicted as it provides their owners with a stable and potent control tool (ILO, n.d.). Moreover, they are at a high risk of being murdered or offended by other criminals.


Economic Pressure

The second significant concern associated with child trafficking is the mechanisms of child trafficking. The fact is that the illegal status of this issue preconditions the appearance of numerous ways to find a loophole in the legal environment and recruit a child to participate in one of the activities mentioned above (UNICEF, 2011). Specialists who investigate this problem differentiate a set of the most common mechanisms that are used by malefactors today. These include economic pressure, social aspects, and force (UNICEF, n.d.). The prevalence of these ways is explained by their high efficiency regarding conditions in diverse, especially poor, countries, where children suffer from the lack of protection and become vulnerable.

Social Impact

The mechanism of economic pressure is explained by the fact that children are often treated as a good or a cheap source of labor. In areas where the bigger part of the population lives in poverty, it becomes a stable source of income. For instance, adolescents might become victims of trafficking because of the lack of money in their families (Humanium, n.d.). In this regard, they are forced to engage in diverse activities, which might include hard work in mines, plants, factories, or in the sphere of sex tourism, prostitution, etc. (“Child trafficking awareness,” n.d.). The given mechanism is mostly spread in countries that have been traditionally associated with the use of child labor (African states, Bolivia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.) (“Child trafficking awareness,” n.d.).

The second way of child trafficking involves social mechanisms and is closely related to the previous one. Communities characterized by low income and the absence of perspectives for their improvement might bear pressure on children to make them work and earn money (Humanium, n.d.). Unfortunately, in many regions, it still remains the only way to survive for many families. Even worse, some households might sell children correctly, realizing the fact that they will be used for different purposes. These children face the highest risk of being offended, injured, or even killed because of their helplessness and vulnerable position.


Finally, the force still remains an efficient way to recruit new children and make them perform all activities. The given mechanism is used in all regions; however, especially popular, the use of power remains in lands seized by military conflicts, civil movements, or characterized by the weak government unable to ensure that the basic legal regulations are observed.


Improvement of the Environment

Finally, another concern related to the issue is the search for an efficient solution to improve the situation and save children. The first approach includes prevention, which means the creation of an environment in which children will not suffer from abuse (Humanium, n.d.). However, it is a long-term process that will not provide results in the next several years.

Severe Punishment

The second solution presupposes more severe punishment for people and organizations engaged in child trafficking. There are even suggestions to use the death penalty to ensure a decrease in the number of cases and protect children (Humanium, n.d.). Unfortunately, the efficiency of this solution is doubted because of the complexity of the identification of children exploitation and its concealed character.

Broad Protection

Finally, another perspective presupposes broad protection to children who could be potentially forced to perform different activities. However, the complexity of this approach is explained by the need for numerous resources and problems with the discovery of these young people. Additionally, it might be difficult to gather support from the local authorities.


Altogether, child trafficking remains a nagging problem in modern society. Millions of people are trafficked every year. Despite numerous attempts to eliminate this problem, there is still no efficient solution to it because of the numerous concerns mentioned above.


Child trafficking awareness. (n.d.). Web.

Humanium. (n.d.). . Web.

ILO. (n.d.). . Web.

UNICEF. (n.d.). . Web.

UNICEF. (2011). Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse. Web.

(n.d.). Web.

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