Human Traffic Watch

Archive for the ‘Child Soldiers’ Category

Modern-day slavery: an explainer

In Awareness, Child Marriage, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Organ Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 7, 2013 at 9:29 am
A worker carries a bag of charcoal on to a truck in Rondon do Para. Brazil was the last country to withdraw from the transatlantic slave trade. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

A worker carries a bag of charcoal on to a truck in Rondon do Para. Brazil was the last country to withdraw from the transatlantic slave trade. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

How is slavery defined?

Slavery is prohibited under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

Definitions of modern-day slavery are mainly taken from the 1956 UN supplementary convention, which says: “debt bondage, serfdom, forced marriage and the delivery of a child for the exploitation of that child are all slavery-like practices and require criminalisation and abolishment”. The 1930 Forced Labour Convention defines forced labour as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”.

As contemporary systems of slavery have evolved, new definitions, including trafficking and distinguishing child slavery from child labour, have developed.

Some of the forms of slavery are:

Bonded labour: people become bonded labourers after falling into debt and being forced to work for free in an attempt to repay it. Many will never pay off their loans, and debt can be passed down through the generations.

Forced labour: where people are forced to work, usually with no payment, through violence or intimidation. Many find themselves trapped, often in a foreign country with no papers, and unable to leave.

Descent-based slavery: where people are born into slavery because their families belong to a class of “slaves” within a society. The status of “slave” passes from mother to child.

Trafficking: the transport or trade of people from one area to another and into conditions of slavery.

Child slavery: children are in slavery as domestic workers, forced labour – in, for example, the cocoa, cotton and fisheries industries – trafficked for labour and sexual exploitation, and used as child soldiers.

Early and forced marriage: women continue to be married without consent, often while still girls, and forced into sexual and domestic servitude.

Source: The Guardian

Sierra Leone’s Child Trafficking to Blame for Street Kids

In Child Labor, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Soldiers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 21, 2013 at 9:44 am
Kaita (r) is one of thousands of Sierra Leonean children who have ended up homeless. According to a 2010 survey it is estimated that there are as many as 2,500 street children in Freetown alone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

Kaita (r) is one of thousands of Sierra Leonean children who have ended up homeless. According to a 2010 survey it is estimated that there are as many as 2,500 street children in Freetown alone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

On a street corner in downtown Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city, 12-year-old Kaita sits with a friend on a peeling steel railing watching the headlights of motorbikes cruising through the otherwise silent streets. It is after midnight, and motionless human forms lie curled up in doorways or stretched out on pavements nearby. For Kaita, these streets are home, and have been for almost six years.

Kaita is one of thousands of Sierra Leonean children who have ended up homeless after being given away by their parents on false promises of education.

Joice Kamara is the deputy director of children’s affairs at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs – until last year the focal point for the government’s anti-trafficking taskforce.

“Some of them (child traffickers) are relatives, some are strangers, some are friends – they go to the villages and they ask people to give them their children. They promise to give them the best education in the city,” she tells IPS.

Source: IPS News


In Awareness, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking on April 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Abducted by the LRA at age 13, Grace finally escaped after two years in rebel captivity. 100% of the proceeds from this year’s Mother’s Day campaign will go toward Mend, where Grace is one of 22 seamstresses who have been directly affected by the LRA conflict. A proud mother of three, Grace has rebuilt her life and now has the tools to provide for her children. This Mother’s Day buy a gift from Mend by clicking HERE, where each Limited Edition bag has been made by a mother, for a mother.

Invisible Children: Action Alert

In Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking on April 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm

ACTION ALERT UPDATE:  On Tuesday, we asked our supporters to join us in urging John Kerry and the U.S. State Department to remain committed to counter-LRA operations in light of recent complications in the Central African Republic. 

 Yesterday, the State Department reaffirmed their commitment.

 Because of you, the State Department was receiving tweets every 19 seconds about stopping LRA violence. Now we need you to join us in sending a similar message to the African Union, another key player in making sure counter-LRA efforts continue.   

Please help once more by tweeting the @_AfricanUnion



Child labor stats

In Child Labor, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on March 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm


How to End Child Trafficking #EndTrafficking

In Child Labor, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Soldiers, Human Trafficking on January 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm


Although human trafficking occurs around the world, you may be shocked to learn that it happens in the US too, in all 50 states. “The U.S. is a source, destination, and transit point for trafficking victims.” Children are especially vulnerable if they are runaways, homeless and victims of abuse or neglect. Then it is hard to break the cycle. They fear their abductor, may be brainwashed to believe they don’t deserve better, are hidden from others (especially those that want to help), etc.

UNICEF is working toward the goal of ending child trafficking in a myriad of ways:

  • Working with governments
  • Teaching about the injustice and gender inequality
  • Providing safe havens

You can find more information on how to end child trafficking on the UNICEF USA’s End Traffickingpage. Read and take the steps in their toolkit. Follow @EndTraffick and @UNICEFUSA on Twitter and use the hashtag #EndTrafficking. Like the UNICEF USA page on Facebook and ask others to do so. Share and use the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, 1-888-373-7888 to report cases. You can get training as well.

Source: Brain Foggles

Victim’s Stories

In Awareness, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking on December 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

The Democratic Republic of the Congo 
By 18, Christophe had been abducted by the Congolese army three times and forced to transport their supplies from region to region. Christophe and other abducted civilians, sometimes as many as 100, were forced to walk for days carrying boxes of ammunition, jerry cans of whiskey, cases of beer, and other baggage. Primary school children, some as young as 8, were forced to carry the soldiers’ children on their backs. If they got tired or walked slowly, they were beaten or whipped. They were given no food and ate only whatever they could find in the villages they passed through.

Source: US State Department

Obama waives sanctions on countries that use child soldiers

In Child Soldiers, Human Trafficking on October 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

U.S. President Barack Obama issued a new executive order last week to fight human trafficking, touting his administration’s handling of the issue.

“When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed — that’s slavery,” Obama said in a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative. “It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world. Now, as a nation, we’ve long rejected such cruelty.”

But for the third year in a row, Obama has waived almost all U.S. sanctions that would punish certain countries that use child soldiers, upsetting many in the human rights community.

Late Friday afternoon, Obama issued a presidential memorandumwaiving penalties under the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 for Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen, penalties that Congress put in place to prevent U.S. arms sales to countries determined by the State Department to be the worst abusers of child soldiers in their militaries. The president also partially waived sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow some military training and arms sales to that country.

Source: Foreign Policy

Slavery Still Exists

In Awareness, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on September 29, 2012 at 8:42 am

Lisa Kristine

It was 130 degrees when I was first introduced to the brick kilns of Nepal. In these severe temperatures, men, women, and children — whole families, in fact — were surrounded by a dense cloud of dust while mechanically stacking bricks on their heads, carrying them, 18 at a time, from the scorching kilns to trucks hundreds of yards away.

These are slaves. Deadened by monotony and exhaustion, they worked without speaking, repeating the same task 16 hours a day. They took no rest for food or water, no bathroom breaks — although their dehydration suppressed their need to urinate.

Around the world human traffickers trick many people into slavery by false promises of good jobs or good education, only to find themselves forced to work without pay, under the threat of violence. Trapped by phony debt, these slaves are hunted by local police and private security guards if they try to escape. Sometimes slaves don’t even understand that they’re enslaved, despite people working 16 or 17 hours a day with no pay. They’re simply used to it as something they’ve been doing their whole lives. Their bodies grow weak and vulnerable to disease, but they have nothing to compare their experience to.

Source: The Atlantic

How do you contribute to modern day slavery of human trafficking?

In Awareness, Bonded Labor, Child Labor, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Involuntary Domestic Servitude, Social Justice on September 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

Human trafficking – which includes forced labor – ensnares millions of men, women, and children globally. A young Indian bonded child laborer is walked away after being rescued during a raid by workers from Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood Movement, at a factory in New Delhi, India, June 12.
Kevin Frayer/AP

You may contribute to human trafficking in ways you’re unaware of, suggests the US State Department in a run-down of how what Americans wear, use and consume in daily life can be affected by “modern day slavery.”

To highlight the overall problem, the US State Department offers a run-down of some of the intersections of American life and global involuntary servitude. In a typical day, Americans can wear, use, and consume items made or processed by men, women, and children in what the agency calls “modern day slavery.” While there is growing public awareness of fair-trade labeling that may help consumers avoid goods affected by trafficking, the State Department sponsors an interactive website – – that allows you to calculate “how many slaves work for you” based on your consumption patterns . The site also offers ways consumers can help reduce human trafficking.


The clothes on your back could have been produced by a man, woman, or child in a garment factory in Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America who is subjected to forced labor, including withholding of passports, no pay, long working hours to meet quotas, and physical and sexual abuse. To complete your outfit, the jewelry you put on this morning may include gold mined by trafficked children in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.


The electronics you use may be dependent on minerals produced in conflict-affected areas in Africa where children and adults are forced to work in mines under conditions of forced labor and sexual servitude. The electronic devices you use may also be produced in Asia by adults and children – some as young as 9 – who are sold or deceived into working in electronic factories under conditions of forced labor, including excessively long hours, minimal or no pay, and threats.


The coffee you drink may have been processed by modern slaves. Some men and children work under conditions of forced labor on coffee plantations in Latin America and Africa. The sugar you put in that coffee may have also come from plantations where children and men in Latin America, Asia, and Africa are sub-jected to conditions of forced labor and debt bondage.

12 P.M. LUNCH:

The fish you eat for lunch may have been caught by men in Southeast Asia and children as young as 4 in West Africa who are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the fishing industry. These victims may have been deprived of wages, food, water, and shelter, worked extremely long hours, and suffered physical and sexual abuse.


The chocolate dessert you eat may have involved modern slaves, primarily in Africa. Children who work on plantations that produce cocoa – the key ingredient in chocolate – are subjected to conditions of forced labor. An estimated 300,000 children work in cocoa production worldwide.

To see the rest of the list, please click the link.

Source: Christian Science Monitor 

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