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What is Child Trafficking and Exploitation?

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We don't talk, we act!

Child trafficking and exploitation represent some of the most egregious violations of human rights and dignity, with millions of children worldwide falling victim to these heinous crimes every year. Child trafficking encompasses a range of exploitative practices, including forced labor, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and recruitment into armed conflict. It's a multi-dimensional issue that affects children of all ages, genders, and backgrounds, often leaving them vulnerable to severe physical, emotional, and psychological harm. 

 

Sexual exploitation, a particularly grave concern, is prevalent in child trafficking, with estimations that children make up nearly one-third of all trafficking victims worldwide. Vulnerable children, including those living in poverty, conflict zones, or marginalised communities, are often targeted by traffickers who exploit their or their caregivers desperation, lack of resources, and vulnerability. These children are subjected to sexual abuse, forced prostitution, pornography, and other forms of sexual violence, leaving lasting scars on their physical and mental well-being.

Project Rescue Children and Philippine National Bureau of Investigations rescue operation 2024
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It's estimated that over 150 million children worldwide are engaged in child labor, with nearly half of them (73 million) engaged in hazardous work. Many of these children are trafficked or coerced into exploitative labor conditions, deprived of their right to education, safety, and childhood. Moreover, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that approximately 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children, highlighting the alarming prevalence of child trafficking in global supply chains, domestic work, agriculture, and other industries.


Furthermore, the scourge of forced marriage affects millions of children, predominantly girls, who are coerced or forced into marriage against their will. According to Girls Not Brides, an estimated 12 million girls under the age of 18 are married off each year, often as a result of poverty, gender inequality, cultural norms, and lack of legal protection. Forced marriage not only deprives children of their rights to education, health, and autonomy but also exposes them to risks of domestic violence, early pregnancy, and social isolation.
 

In conflict-affected regions, children are particularly vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups and militias, where they are coerced, abducted, or forcibly recruited to serve as child soldiers, spies, porters, or sex slaves. Tens of thousands of children are currently associated with armed forces and groups worldwide, enduring unimaginable violence, exploitation, and trauma.

These alarming statistics underscore the urgent need for concerted action to combat child trafficking and exploitation on a global scale. While progress has been made in raising awareness, strengthening legal frameworks, and implementing protective measures, much more needs to be done to ensure the safety, rights, and well-being of every child. Efforts to prevent child trafficking, prosecute perpetrators, support survivors, and address root causes such as poverty, inequality, and conflict are essential in creating a world where every child can thrive free from exploitation and abuse. Project Rescue Children, as a leader in this mission, plays a crucial role in helping these vulnerable children through rescue operations, education programs, and rehabilitation initiatives. Through our efforts, we have been privileged to assist in the transformation of countless lives, offering hope to many more children for a brighter future.

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