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This is a background article. See Psychological aspects of trafficking in children

Trafficking of children is a form of trafficking in human beings and is one of the practices associated with the worst forms of child labour by the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). Child trafficking is a crime under international law and under the national legislation of many countries. It typically involves:

  1. the separation of children from their family - "by force, coercion, trickery – including the administration of drugs – family and other complicity, or by much gentler persuasion, misinformation, or through ignorance about what really awaits them at their destination"[1] - and
  2. their relocation within the same country or across borders for purposes such as forced labour, prostitution, pornography, organ removal or use as child soldiers.

International Legislation

  • Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour or Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (ILO, no. 182, 1999)
  • Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UN General Assembly, 2000)

Under both of the above-mentioned instruments, any person of less than eighteen years of age is considered to be a child.

United States Law

United States Federal law criminalizes sex trafficking of children under Title 18 U.S.C. 1591 and Title 18 U.S.C. 2421-2423. Section 1591, a civil rights statute, makes it illegal to "recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide or obtain by any means a person" knowing that either the person will be compelled through "force, fraud or coercion" to submit to a sex act, or that the person is under 18 years of age and will likewise be forced to commit a sex act. Sections 2421-2423, part of the 2003 PROTECT Act, criminalizes transport of minors for sex acts. It also criminalizes travelling to engage in illicit sex in another country. This provision of the law empowered federal prosecutors to address American's exploitation of minors in foreign countries.


  1. International Labour Organisation, Unbearable to the Human Heart: Child Trafficking and Action to Eliminate It, Geneva: ILO/IPEC, 2002/ 97 pages. Quote from p. 20. N.B. The word "trafficking" is spelled "traficking" on the title page. [1]. Retrieved 2006-12-03.

See also

External links

fr:trafic d'enfants
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