New report ranks countries with violations in sex trafficking and trafficking of child soldiers.
July 10, 2007
When she was a teenager, Bora, of Albania, was abducted on her way home from the grocery store one evening. She recognized her captor as her neighbor. He was a "supplier." She was then sold to a trafficking group that sent her to Greece. According to the newly released Trafficking in Persons Report, the government of Albania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
[(C) September 2006/World Vision]
World Vision commends the U.S. State Department for its strategic, ongoing efforts to identify and combat human trafficking worldwide through the recent release of the seventh annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP)
Vital Anti-Trafficking Tool
The U.S. government employs TIP Report as a tool to:
- Develop policies that fight human trafficking;
- Highlight progress on the issue; and
- Encourage foreign governments to take effective action.
This year's report also recognizes the 200th anniversary of the British Parliament’s abolition of the transatlantic slave trade
. Yet, slavery continues in today's world. World Vision is among those working around the globe to stop it.
Political Will Essential
In order to hold all nations accountable for human trafficking violations, however, the TIP Report must be matched by sufficient political will.
"Otherwise, the TIP Report risks becoming a mere footnote in the fight to end modern-day slavery," says Joseph Mettimano, World Vision's director of public policy and advocacy.
What Is Human Trafficking?
According the United Nations
(pdf), trafficking in persons is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of humans through forced abduction, deception, fraud or abuse of power, for the purpose of exploitation.
The exploitation takes many forms, including:
- Commercial sexual exploitation
- Child soldiering
- Debt bondage
- Servitude on the high seas
- Involuntary domestic labor
- Brokered marriages
as many as 800,000 people are transported from one country to another to be used in the commercial sex trade, forced labor or domestic service. Eight out of 10 are women and girls. An estimated 2 million children are enslaved in the global sex trade
"Perhaps the most significant limitation in current law and policy of most countries is the failure of national governments to treat trafficking as a serious human-rights issue," says Azra Kacapor, World Vision's senior technical specialist for children in crisis. "In the vast majority of destination countries, trafficking is approached primarily as an illegal migration or prostitution problem. Effective anti-trafficking action will need to provide lasting solutions for the underlying human-rights abuses that created the conditions for trafficking — and prosecute perpetrators."
Countries Using Child Soldier Noted
The report's tier rankings include countries that have violations involving both sex trafficking and trafficking of child soldiers. The recently introduced Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2007
is intended to curb use of child soldiers, in concert with the U.S. State Department reporting on violations. Lawmakers must pass this legislation to prohibit American taxpayer dollars from aiding militaries that victimize children by using them as soldiers and sex slaves.
"Passing the Child Soldiers Prevention Act is one such step the U.S. government must implement as they hold other nations accountable for their efforts to address all forms of modern-day slavery," says Mettimano.
World Vision's Response
World Vision has responded to the sex trafficking problem through protecting the vulnerable by offering:
- Alternative livelihoods
One such program is a Trauma Recovery Center
in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where hundreds of girls have recovered from their abuse. In its first nine years, the program has served 650 girls ages 8 to 18, and successfully helped to reintegrate 520 back into their families or communities, or arranged foster or small group homes for them.
World Vision also helps U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field attachés identify Americans who abuse children in other countries and gather information that could lead to their prosecution and conviction. In addition, World Vision collaborates with destination-country law-enforcement and government agencies dedicated to protecting children, to develop more efficient reporting and investigation procedures.
>> Learn more about children in crisis
and what World Vision is doing to address the problem.
Three Ways You Can Help
>> Pray for children around the world who are harmed by trafficking practices. Pray for those trying to help these children, and pray for a transformation of those who are forcing children into these roles.
>> Speak out. Ask Congress to support the Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007 (S.1175), which would encourage other governments to disarm, demobilize and rehabilitate child soldiers from government forces as well as government-supported forces.
>> Become a Child Crisis Partner. Help exploited children find hope and new life.