The Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee is the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly. It provides a forum for multilateral discussion on questions relating to the fulfillment or violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
Among the wide range of topics in the SOCHUM’s agenda one of the most worrying is child trafficking. According to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000), this crime consists in the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of minors for the purpose of exploitation, irrespective of the manner of execution. In other words, child trafficking has three constituent elements: the act (what is done), the purpose (why it is done) and the manner (how it is done).
It goes without saying that children are an easy prey for human trafficking activities because they are more vulnerable and easier to manipulate. In addition, it is no wonder that the most frequent type of exploitation children are subjected to are sexual exploitation, forced labor and soldiering.
If human trafficking is a serious issue itself, child trafficking is even more serious since it goes against the second principle of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959). As a matter of fact, child trafficking “deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and is harmful to physical and mental development”.
Child trafficking flows can be distinguished into domestic (only one country is involved), intra-regional (more than one country within the same region is involved), and trans-regional (more than one country located in different regions is involved). As regards trans-regional flows, there is certain evidence that victims are usually trafficked from poor countries to rich ones. So countries can be divided into origin, transit, and destination countries. Most of the origin countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central America, South and East Asia, and Eastern and Central Europe. Conversely, most of the destination countries are in North America, Western and Central Europe, and the Middle East. As for transit countries, those are generally characterized by strategic geographical location, weak border controls, corruption problems.
In conclusion, child trafficking is a vast category including all those violation of the right of the child whose aim is exploiting and making profits. Apparently, the proportion of detected child victims has increased in recent years. So SOCHUM is working in collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other organization under the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) patronage in order to take all necessary measures to combat child trafficking.
“What Is Child Labour”(IPEC), Ilo.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 Oct. 2016. http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/lang–en/index.htm.