Child trafficking is a global issue that impacts the lives of millions of children every year. Although one of the most concerning issues of the 21st century, very few people know what child trafficking is and how to spot the signs of a trafficked child.
Why Are Children Trafficked?
Children of any age can be trafficked and it impacts not only their lives but also the lives of their loved ones. They are stolen and often transported to different countries to enter into trafficking rings of all kinds.
Because children are unable to properly protect themselves, they are seen as easy targets. Child traffickers often wait for an opportunity to steal children when their parents aren’t looking.
- Benefit fraud
- Committing petty crimes
- Drug trafficking
- Forced marriage
- Sexual exploitation
- Slavery or forced labor
The Long-Lasting Impacts of Child Trafficking
Some children are allowed to return to their families after a period of time in a child trafficking ring. However, almost every child who is trafficked is left with psychological trauma following their experiences.
Even if they are allowed to return to their families, child trafficking victims are often unable to lead happy and healthy lives. Many develop post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression because they can’t forget about the things that they have been through.
The families of child trafficking victims are also impacted emotionally. Many parents blame themselves for the situation and are riddled with guilt for decades.
What Can You Do to Tackle Child Trafficking?
You might feel helpless when it comes to tackling such a huge issue but there are lots of things that you can do as an individual to save children’s lives across the world.
Some of the most effective things that you can do are:
- Find the best child trafficking organizations to donate to
- Join protests and campaigns that aim to raise awareness about child trafficking
- Learn about the main signs and symptoms of child trafficking
- Take action if you suspect that a child is being trafficked by filing a report with your local child care services
What Are the Key Signs of Child Trafficking?
Being aware of the main signs of child trafficking is key to putting a stop to this global issue or at the very least, reducing the number of children who are stolen every year.
Although it can be difficult to spot when a child is being trafficked, there are some important tell-tale signs to look out for. If you spot the following signs in a child, report the issue to child protection services:
- Working very long hours doing laborious jobs
- Lack of parents or guardians
- Looking disheveled and tired
- Looking paranoid
- Avoiding eye contact and refusing to answer questions about where they live, who they live with, or what they’re doing
- Lack of registration in any local schools or hospitals
- Living in unhygienic conditions
- Signs of physical harm on the child’s body