2.4. Understanding child trafficking
An understanding of human trafficking requires an analysis of the operation of, and interaction between, a range of factors that combine to make individuals vulnerable to trafficking. In order to understand human trafficking in its broad social, economic and political contexts, it is argued that it is important first to identify and know the interaction between such structural factors or variables of trafficking as economic deprivations, social inequality and demand for inexpensive labor force and adjacent factors of trafficking like loose national and international legal regimes, poor law enforcement, corruption, weak education campaigns etc. putting it in another way, identifying and knowing the interaction between the push and pull factors will help us significantly in understanding the nature of human trafficking (Newman and Cameron 2007: 11).
Trafficking vulnerable children and young people is a violation of their rights to protection from exploitation, to play, to an education and to health, and to family life (ILO-IPEC, 2002). Under international laws, trafficking is a crime involving the movement of children and their exploitation. The movement may be voluntary or coerced; it may be across borders or within a country; and the exploitation can take several forms like sexual, labor, physical, etc.(ILO-IPEC, 2001).
When children take up a job but have not yet reached the legal minimum age for work, this is considered to be ‘child labor’. When they are employed in hazardous or other exploitative circumstances, such as slavery and slavery-like situations, in commercial sexual exploitation or illicit activities, they are in a worst form of child labor. Hazardous work – according to the Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention,1999 (No.182) – is “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”. No child under 18 should be in a worst form of child labor. Trafficking children below the18 ages into the exploitive situations is in itself considered to be a ‘worst form of child labor’, because children who have been trafficked are in a particularly vulnerable situation. They are away from home,usually separated from their family and community, may be isolated in a destination place where they do not know the language, cannot get help and have no way to return to their home. Isolated in this way, they are commonly the victims of abuse of power. Trafficked children are totally at the mercy of their employers or the people who are controlling their lives and so risk sexual aggression, starvation, loss of liberty, beatings and other forms of violence (Pearson 2003).