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As a result of these factors and the high rate of growth of the working-age population World Bank , young people looking for work in the region may choose to migrate and in doing so, may become vulnerable to trafficking.

Index of Countries

Similarly, limited schooling options in outlying islands have led to an increase in the number of students seeking to attend school in urban areas or overseas Asian Development Bank Other areas of risk relate to cultural practices that support a range of living arrangements for children in the region, including the billeting of children within region-wide familial networks. Many children and young people seeking access to education or better employment prospects are sent to live with relatives in urban areas. Similarly, children may be informally adopted or fostered within familial networks.

In such cases, children may be 'adopted' by an aunt or uncle who has no children of their own. The logging industry in some Pacific Island nations also presents a significant risk to children. Reports have indicated that employees of foreign logging companies have been implicated in the sexual exploitation of children living in villages which neighbour the logging camps Herbert Early marriages also present a risk for the young women involved, as they are removed from the protection afforded by their own family environment at a time in their life when they are quite vulnerable Ali Across the Pacific, girls can legally marry from as young as 14 years of age, although in some countries, such as the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, customary law allows girls to marry at age 12 and 13 years Ali The custom of 'bride price' in countries such as Papua New Guinea has also been used to trade daughters for cash or other goods from mining or logging employees Ali Low socioeconomic levels and limited employment opportunities create pressure to seek alternatives for income generation in the region.

Subsequently, the Criminal Code Amendment Trafficking in Persons Act created a range of people trafficking offences, including trafficking in children. Under s Receiving a person aged less than 18 years for the same purpose is also an offence. In accordance with the UN Trafficking Protocol, there is no need for the use of deception, force or threats for the offence to be considered one of trafficking in persons. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 25 years. Other trafficking offences including the trafficking-related offences of sexual servitude and deceptive recruitment, first introduced in are considered to be aggravated offences and attract higher penalties where the victim is a child.

There have been no prosecutions relating to child trafficking in Australia to date, however, two possible cases of children trafficked into the Australian sex industry have come to light in recent years. In both cases, it has been claimed that the women reportedly, aged 12 and 13 when trafficked , had been sold by their parents to traffickers in Thailand and were forced to work in brothels upon arrival in Australia. Nonetheless the incident is important as it highlighted potential risks in relation to trafficking in Australia and in doing so led to a joint Parliamentary Inquiry into the trafficking of women for sexual servitude in Australia.

Both cases came to light following routine compliance inspections by immigration officials, with one girl discovered 10 days after being forced to work in the brothel and the other discovered 15 years after an alleged incident of trafficking.

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Neither case led to a prosecution in Australia; the young woman discovered after 15 years died in Villawood Detention Centre due to complications arising from heroin addiction and severe malnourishment Ellison ; Milovanovich C, Deputy State Coroner, Westmead Coroner's Court Inquest into the death of Puang Thong Simpalee, 24 April In the other case, it was claimed that state and federal agencies were unaware the girl was a minor.

Importantly, no federal anti-sexual servitude and trafficking offences existed at the time, preventing the AFP from investigating the offences. An investigation by Thai police into this matter led to the conviction and imprisonment for up to 19 years of three Thai nationals involved in trafficking the girl Craig Trafficked children experience serious physical, psychological and emotional trauma, which puts them at risk of falling back into exploitative situations. Such experiences during the formative years can have 'long-lasting and potentially irreparable' effects on a child UNICEF The conflation of child trafficking with smuggling, irregular migration and prostitution is problematic but 'child protection can be advanced irrespective of the entry point, be it child trafficking, sexual exploitation of children, child labour or child migration' UNICEF National and international bodies advocate improving the lives of children by minimising the risk of harm through a holistic approach to child protection, known as a systems-building approach.

Under such approaches, child vulnerability is incorporated alongside other child protection concerns such as drug use, children in conflict with the law, school drop-outs, violence and abuse at home, social and economic marginalisation, unsafe migration and social norms that put children at risk UNICEF This represents a more comprehensive means of addressing the factors influencing child trafficking through the strengthening of legal and justice systems, social welfare systems and social behaviour change systems UNICEF In short, improving legislative and policy frameworks, institutionalising training for law enforcement and social welfare staff, establishing specialist units, addressing underlying vulnerabilities including harmful cultural practices , ensuring accreditation and regulation of key sectors and promoting knowledge regarding safe migration pathways will all assist in increasing resilience among children, provide greater protection from a range of abuses and ultimately, strengthen responses to trafficking.

While a greater amount of information regarding the trafficking of children in the Asia—Pacific region has become available through the activities of governments, non-government organisations and researchers in recent years, there remains a need to strengthen the evidence base on child trafficking, particularly in relation to achieving greater conceptual clarity and examining causes. As demonstrated through the UNICEF survey of trafficking experts, interpretations of what constitutes trafficking vary markedly.

Unclear definitions can lead to unclear or inadequate responses. This can be addressed through closer examination of the areas where opinions diverge regarding what is, and is not, child trafficking.

However, narrowly defining child trafficking may result in the undermining of children's rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child UNICEF and may act as a barrier to effective child protection systems. Strong and effective responses require a strong evidence base and there are several areas where systematic analysis is lacking.

These areas include the trafficking of children for adoption and marriage, the trafficking of boys for sexual exploitation and the vulnerability of refugee and migrant children. Little information is available about these groups of children and greater analysis of their particular needs and circumstances is warranted. Finally, interventions that seek to address the problem on all levels—community, family and individual—within a broader child protection framework are likely to be the most effective way of increasing resilience among children.


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By addressing child trafficking along with other child protection concerns, protection from a range of abuses, including trafficking, is more likely. The trafficking of children in the Asia—Pacific. Jacqueline Joudo Larsen. What is child trafficking? Adult vs child victims A critical difference between the trafficking of adults and children centres on the means of control during the trafficking process.

She arrives and finds herself working around the clock with restrictions placed on her movement.


Rent and food expenses are inflated and docked from her pay but the balance of her earnings is given to her. A 17 year old girl from China agrees to an offer made by a recruiter to work in a brothel in Vietnam five days a week for low wages. A 15 year old girl illegally migrates with her family using a human smuggling network and ends up working as a beggar on the city streets. Although she is not attending school, there are no restrictions on her movement and she gets her cut of the earnings.

An eight year old Vietnamese boy is forced by his family to work at a local brick factory. He labours every day carrying 40 pound loads of bricks on his head and engages in other hard physical labour. The owner of the brick factory insists that he has to work for another two years to satisfy the outstanding debt owed by his parents. The parents of a 14 year old girl from West Java, Indonesia send her to live with relatives in Jakarta.

The relatives have promised the girl's parents they will provide her with education, room and board in exchange for light housework. After she arrives, she is allowed to go to school but is forced to come home immediately afterward and do all the housework, babysitting and cooking throughout the week. Figure 1: Pathways of child trafficking in the Asian region Source: Lee Cite article Larsen J Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Related items. Organised crime and migrant smuggling : Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

Andreas Schloenhardt. Read more. The illegal trade in timber and timber products in the Asia-Pacific region. Innovations in criminal justice in Asia and the Pacific. William Clifford, Sharad Gokhale. About us Media centre Contact us. The technology of the Internet of Things will enable the development of transportation systems to be more intelligent, safe, harmonious, and energy efficient. Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.

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