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Children are vulnerable to trafficking where protection for children is weak or missing. The government, civil society and families are responsible for preventing trafficking, as well as helping children who are victims to reintegrate into their families and communities, if it is in their best interest.
Trafficking of children is one of the fastest growing transnational crimes, occurring in and between countries. Profit from human trafficking has been estimated at approximately US$9.5 billion annually.
Children who are trafficked are:
It is calculated that the majority of the children trafficked every year are girls who are sexually exploited.
Children and families burdened by poverty and with limited access to information may leave their communities because they believe better opportunities await them elsewhere. Sometimes children are promised a good education, a well-paying job or a better life. Instead they may find themselves smuggled or moved across borders or taken within their own country by traffickers and forced into dangerous situations. These may include domestic servitude, prostitution, forced marriage or begging.
It is important for children and families choosing to leave their communities to understand where they are going. They should know:
Governments can support local authorities and civil society to: