Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings

Child trafficking for exploitation in forced criminal activities and forced begging

Child trafficking for exploitation in forced criminal activities and forced begging

The Hague, October 2014, 3 pages

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups targeted for the trafficking in human beings (THB). Organised crime groups (OCGs) choose to traffic children as they can be easily recruited and quickly replaced. OCGs can also maintain child victims relatively cheaply and discreetly. The exploitation of children violates the human rights of children; to have a safe childhood in their family setting, to receive education, to have time to play and to be protected from exploitation.

This Intelligence Notification focuses on the exploitation of children forced into committing criminal activities and forced begging. The victims of these types of exploitation are frequently falsely identified as suspects rather than victims of THB.

Key trends

  • It is often difficult to identify victims of trafficking in human beings. This is particularly true in cases of child trafficking.

  • Cases of trafficking of children for exploitation in forced begging or in forced criminal activity are often falsely perceived as public order issues or petty property crimes.

  • Children are at high risk of undergoing secondary victimisation by being considered perpetrators of petty crime rather than victims of exploitation. Child victims are also at risk of being retrafficked after their release from the authorities.

  • OCGs specifically target families in difficult social and economic circumstances.

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