Child traffickers thrive on disasters
By David Singh
GENEVA, 26 March 2012 – Disasters and climate related catastrophes are increasing the dangers facing children today such as child trafficking, according to a recent report by Najat Maalla M’jid, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
“Children’s vulnerability is significantly increased when they are separated from their families, unaccompanied, orphaned or displaced following humanitarian crisis,” warned M’jid at a review of the report at the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council which ended on Friday.
“Some people exploit the chaotic environment that follows a natural disaster to engage in criminal activities, such as selling children for the purpose of illegal adoption, forced labour or sexual exploitation”, stated the report.
“The situation enables them to circumvent national and international standards and remove children from their communities or national territory. Furthermore, the collapse or absence of a State system during and after an emergency results in a protection vacuum for children who may become separated from their families”, the report said.
UNISDR United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction