What is child trafficking?
Lots of people might have heard of child trafficking, but not many people know exactly what it means. Child trafficking is the movement of a young person for the purpose of exploitation. This includes:
- A young person being bought or sold for money
- A young person being tricked into leaving home
- A young person who is given away by their family because the family need money
- A young person who is made to leave their home because of war
- A young person who chooses to leave home, thinking they are going to a better life
The move of the young person can be international or within the same country. There could be lots of reasons the person has moved. The reasons for the move generally benefit the people who take the young person and the people who exploit or abuse them. The young person does not benefit from the move. In fact in most cases; the young person suffers because they have been forced or tricked into moving.
Sometimes an adult will lie to a young person and promise them a better life. However, the new life turns out to be horrible and the young person is treated badly. The young person could be forced or tricked into moving to a completely new country, where they don’t know anyone or even speak the language. This can be really scary. They might be forced to work for free, marry someone they don’t want to, live in bad conditions or do things they don’t want to do. The things the young person is made to do can upset or hurt them.
What are the signs of someone being trafficked?
It’s difficult to know what goes on in other people’s homes, but there are some signs you can look out for that often hint that a young person is a victim of child trafficking. One or two of these signs might not necessarily mean this person has been trafficked, but if you or someone you know reminds you of some of the points below, go to the where can I go for help section.
- Physical signs that someone has tried to hurt them (bruises/cuts)
- Does not come into school all the time
- Has different adults around them quite a lot
- Often seems tired or worn out
- Does not often speak to other people or seems withdrawn
- Seems to be afraid of people in authority (teachers/adults)
- Gets angry easily or can be violent
- Looks like they find it difficult to concentrate or focus on something
- Have moved to the UK a while ago, but still don’t really know the language
- Have suggested they don’t live with family or have a bad time at home
How common is child trafficking?
Child trafficking is growing more common and affecting the lives of more young people everyday. It is possible that someone you know or go to school with is a victim of child trafficking. This is why it’s so important to be aware of how to recognise and help someone who has been trafficked. To learn more about trafficking and how common it is, visit Stop The Traffik.
What does the law say about child trafficking?
Trafficking young people is a type of abuse and is a criminal offence. The adults who are abusing, exploiting or hurting these young people are breaking the law and should be reported. You do not have to put up with it. The law also says the young people who have been trafficked must be protected from harm.