WHAT IS CHILD TRAFFICKING?
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
There are so many things we could say about the complexities of this crime, but if you have the time, watching this BBC documentary, which takes a look at the extent of labour exploitation in the UK, will be very illuminating.
TRAFFICKING AND SMUGGLING ARE DIFFERENT THINGS.
Smuggling is when someone is moved from one place to another for their own benefit. They often pay for the service, but are free to leave the smuggler once they arrive in their destination. A person may think that they are being smuggled into a country, but upon arrival, they are forced into a situation of exploitation.
WHAT ABOUT CHILD TRAFFICKING?
HUMAN TRAFFICKING DIFFERS FROM CHILD TRAFFICKING QUITE SIGNIFICANTLY.
Laws differ globally. In the UK, The Palermo Protocol (2000) provides a definition of trafficking which has since become a widely accepted standard:
“Trafficking of persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of person (the ACT), by means of the threat of or use of force, or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of abuse of power (the MEANS), for the purpose of exploitation (PURPOSE).”
The Palermo Protocol establishes children as a special case for whom only two components are required – ACT and PURPOSE – because a child cannot give consent to being exploited, even if they are aware / agreeable to being moved.
ANY CHILD TRANSPORTED FOR EXPLOITATIVE REASONS IS CONSIDERED TO BE A VICTIM OF TRAFFICKING.
We use the term ‘child trafficking’ to describe two groups:
- Children trafficked into the UK from abroad.
- Any Children trafficked within the UK
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A CHILD PROSTITUTE.
The word “prostitute” refers to a person who engages in sexual activity in exchange for money. For the average person, the word “prostitute” carries an implication of choice.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 currently includes the term “child prostitution.” There have been calls to remove all references to this term from UK legislation on the basis that it suggests victims were complicit in abuse.
A NOTE ON SPECIFICITY
The terms “Modern Slavery” and “human trafficking” technically denote different things, but they are often used interchangeably.
Modern slavery is a broad term. In the UK it covers any situation in which a person is forced to work, owned or controlled by an employer, dehumanised and treated as a commodity, or bought and sold as ‘property’, or physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.
We acknowledge the abusive nature of both and so we use the terms interchangeably. The following definitions are encompassed within the term ‘modern slavery’ for the purposes of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. These are:
- ‘slavery’ is where ownership is exercised over a person
- ‘servitude’ involves the obligation to provide services imposed by coercion
- ‘forced or compulsory labour’ involves work or service extracted from any person under the menace of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself voluntarily
- ‘human trafficking’ concerns arranging or facilitating the travel of another with a view to exploiting them.
Trafficking is defined within Article 4 of the Council of Europe Convention Against Trafficking in Human Beings.20 However, for the purposes of trafficking, in the case of a child there is no requirement to meet the ‘means’ component within that definition as a child is not able to give informed consent. Therefore, any child who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purposes of exploitation is considered to be a trafficking victim, whether or not they have been forced or deceived.