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Kofi Poku Quan-Baffour Human Trafficking Conference, Benoni South Africa, 23- 24 March 2010 ‘ Up for sale’: Confronting the challenge of Child trafficking.

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Presentation on theme: "Kofi Poku Quan-Baffour Human Trafficking Conference, Benoni South Africa, 23- 24 March 2010 ‘ Up for sale’: Confronting the challenge of Child trafficking."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kofi Poku Quan-Baffour Human Trafficking Conference, Benoni South Africa, 23- 24 March 2010 ‘ Up for sale’: Confronting the challenge of Child trafficking in Africa

2 Over view  Introduction  Forms & methods of child trafficking  Evils & effects of child trafficking  Challenges to prevention of child trafficking   Ways to confront child trafficking  Conclusion  Presenter’s contact details

3 Introduction  Human trafficking, dubbed modern day slave trade, an illegal clandestine activity  Child trafficking =clandestine recruitment, transporting, transferring, habouring or receiving any person under 18 years for the purpose of sexual exploitation, harzardous work, slavery, servitude or removal of organs  Seems incomprehensible but true that trade in humans is more common in 21 first century [McIntosh, 2003]  Three categories – source, transit & destination countries. Countries may fall with 3, 2 or 1

4 Forms and methods of child trafficking  Child trafficking takes various forms- forced marriage, forced labour, forced conscription[child soldiers], illegal adoption, abduction and direct sale  Child trafficking may be domestic or transnational e.g. civil conflicts in Somalia, DRC, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi etc =displacement & insecurity  vulnerable & traumatised children taken advantage of; trafficked, trained as soldiers, aides, used as sex slaves/ concubines to war lords  30,000 chn abducted & conscripted into Lord’s Resistance Army, later sold as mercenaries & sex slaves to Sudan Darfur rebels [Mugerwa, 2008]

5 Forms & Methods ct’d  Over 100 children abducted & transported from Mozambique to South Africa every month for cheap labour & sexual exploitation[ Khoza, 2009],  Between 800-1100 Tai girls illegally imported to South Africa P.A for sex industry [Legget, 2004]  Between 2800-3800 of girls trafficked into South Africa are involved in prostitution [Molo Songololo, 2000]  U S Congressional report[2006] affirms: women & girls trafficking for sexual exploitation big problem in Southern African Region.

6 Evils & Effects of child trafficking  Child trafficking is despicable, exploitation, cruel & crime against humanity. Comoditization of children is barbaric & inhuman.  Idea of selling & buying children challenges the notion of human civilisational[Gould,2006]  Child trafficking is slavery, violation of human right; mental & physical abuse  Leads to debt bondage- traffickers may seize victims passport etc & latter may work as prostitutes and drug pedlars for years to redeem themselves  Diseases- victims may contract infectious diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS through sex work  Lost of identity of victims- some girls may never get back home  Tracking, redeeming victims, arrest & prosecution of culprits put financial burden on government & International organisations

7 Challenges to prevention of child trafficking  Many things pose serious challenge to prevention of child trafficking Few Examples: - The concept child trafficking is slippery, complex; it is difficult to define what constitutes trafficking [Gould, 2006] - lack of proper legislation in most African countries to deal with the problem; at best treated as ordinary offence - Modus operandi: Global network with sophisticated operation Traffickers take advantage of international events e.g. Commonwealth, Olympic games, World cup & religious trips to Holy places like Rome or Mecca - African cultural practices of giving girl children to members of extended family members to stay with -Using girl children as surety for debts incurred by families; inability to pay back renders girls slaves

8 Ways of confronting child trafficking in Africa  Child trafficking affects all countries of the world; no single country can tackle it. Solution lies in global partnership[Clinton,2009]  Partnership should involve all citizens, governments, regional & international organisations such as ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, AU, Commonwealth, UN, gender & human rights activists in line with UN GIFT[ Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking]  Media should educate all people about the existence & evils of child trafficking & encourage all to be whistle blowers.  Media should create awareness regarding trafficking within the family, school, church, community & district  Recent rescue of 39 trafficked children in Ghana, 8 in Chad and 12 in Ermelo( S/A 22/3/2010) are commendable efforts & examples for other countries to emulate

9 Conclusion  It is clear from this presentation that political decay in Africa leads to hardships- conditions which create the desire to migrate for better life and thus rendering girls vulnerable to trafficking.  The paper concludes that to stop child trafficking - African governments should be forced to democratise, be accountable & institute policies that improve socio-economic conditions of their citizens - Governments should criminalise trafficking by enacting laws to vigorously deal with it[S/A draft law tabled last week] - No single country can stop T I P hence need for global partnerships.

10 Contact details Kofi Poku Quan-Baffour Department of Adult Basic Education & Training University of South Africa Box 392 Pretoria 0003 Tel. +227 12 -429 6870 e-mail:

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