Trafficking and sexual exploitation of children continues to rise and we urgently need to step up the global efforts to address the 3 Ps: prevention, protection and prosecution of perpetrators. Children account for approximately a third of all victims of trafficking and most of these children are girls trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Despite substantial progress being made in the field and an increased focus globally on child trafficking and sexual exploitation, this heinous crime is on the rise and traffickers continue to find new and innovative ways to lure unsuspecting victims.
Trafficking of children does not look the same now as it did ten, or even five years ago. New ways of exploiting children continue to surface, and reports show that the growing normalization of commercialization of women and girls’ bodies is contributing to a substantial increase in commercial sexual exploitation of girls.
We see the following actions to be prioritized at global level:
- Integration of children’s human rights norms and principles in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all public policies and programs;
- Stronger focus on the victim, i.e. a victim centred approach and the inclusion of survivors in all anti-trafficking work and ensure that victims’ access to rights and services is not dependent on the status and classification of criminal procedures and their participation in such proceedings;
- Recognize human trafficking as a gendered crime and prostitution as sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls and well as the need to address gender inequalities in society as a root cause by inter alia including modules on trafficking and sexual exploitation of children as well as gender inequalities and healthy relationships in school curriculums;
- Ensure proactive identification of victims of all forms of trafficking and sexual exploitation, especially children both offline and online and strengthen child and social protection systems;
- Demand a comprehensive and competent law enforcement response to address, identify and punish perpetrators as well as sufficient data on the scale and patterns of child trafficking, including recent trends and developments.
- Establish an international legal framework on the liability of online platforms for online trafficking and exploitation taking place on their websites as well as an efficient enforcement of such.