Author: Ayush Patria
III Year | Sangam University, Bhilwara
Introduction to child sex trafficking:
The United Nations defines sex trafficking as ‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labour or sexual exploitation.
Trafficking of any human being is unacceptable but the trafficking of children is lamentable. It is a violation of their rights to protection from exploitation, education, health, and family life. The trafficking of children is not new. It exists all over the world.
In this article, the author discusses the impact of sex trafficking over children’s rights and various injuries suffered by the children caused due to sex trafficking.
Violation of Guarantees under UNCRC:
Child sex trafficking involves a serious violation of a child’s rights. Article 32 of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of Child [UNCRC] stipulates the right of the child to be “protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development”. Further, Articles 9, 10, and 11 also have provisions for the illicit movement of the child.
Additionally, Article 34 calls on the States Parties ‘to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse including the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices. Article 35 also aims to protect children from being treated as chattels. Lastly, the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (2000), which entered into effect in January 2002, explicitly relates to the prostitution and trafficking of children, although it does not define trafficking further.
Injuries Suffered due to child sex trafficking:
Sexually trafficked children suffer from physical and psychological consequences. It is no surprise to say that sexually trafficked children are prone to health issues like sexually transmitted infections, HIV-AIDS, menstrual irregularities. They also suffer several injuries because of physical violence. Such children are vulnerable during the outbreak of diseases because of being held in unsanitary and unhygienic closed spaces. They are prone to injuries caused due to sexual penetration with sharp objects.
Sex trafficking of children also leads to crucial physical injuries like breaking of bones, concussion, bruising or burns, etc. These typical & crucial injuries can also lead to long-lasting health problems that require long-term treatment. Since sex-trafficked children face several cases of abuse over an extended time period, they may suffer these health-related issues in the same manner consistent with victims of prolonged tortures.
Children who have been sex-trafficked face the situation of unwanted pregnancies because they don’t know or are not allowed to use birth control methods. Additionally, they are denied access to safe healthcare facilities for abortion. Furthermore, abortion can also lead to psychological trauma for the victims.
Other Impacts due to sex trafficking:
All the sexual abuses with victims are traumatic. It also deprives these children of their rights such as:
- proper nutrition,
- adequate medical facilities,
- freedom from violence & abuse,
- freedom from exploitation,
- right to health,
- right to education.
In general, child sex trafficking victims face physical issues. These children also face difficulty in walking & sitting due to laceration, bruises, burns, concussion, wounds on the genital body parts. Furthermore, they suffer from frequent headaches, nausea, back pain, pelvic pain, and many related illnesses.
Sex trafficking of children is a violation in every sense. Many children suffer from physical injuries. They get raped, beaten & abused by the traffickers. There is also a high risk of contracting diseases and infections. Lack of adequate sex education and proper medical care allows these factors to spread & worsen health.
These physical effects of sex-trafficking often affect the health of the victim permanently. It is important to help the victims of sex trafficking whether it is medical help, educational help, or emotional help. It is also very important to support the victims by taking legal actions against the accused persons.
. UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, (January 13, 2020, 11:14 AM), available at: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CTOC/index.html
. UN Child trafficking and action to eliminate it; (January 15, 2020, 11:32 AM);
. The Physical and Psychological Consequences of Human Trafficking, (January 15, 2021 at 04:08 PM) available at: https://herfuturecoalition.org/the-physical-and-psychological-consequences-of-human-trafficking/
Editor: Priya Mishra