UNICEF reports that despite regional and national efforts, trafficking continues to take a heavy toll on children. A study finds efforts to prevent trafficking have fallen short and therefore strongly recommends new methods to decrease trafficking of children.
An assessment of child trafficking programs in seven countries in East and Southeast Asia found that the problem of trafficking children has yet to be stemmed despite the best efforts by governments, donors and international and local aid organizations. A new approach is needed to confront not only child trafficking, but also other related forms of abuse and exploitation of children and the root causes.
The study, Child Trafficking in East and Southeast Asia: Reversing the Trend, found that a great deal had been accomplished in this area in creating transnational cooperation. There have also been unprecedented developments in legislative and policy reform.
However, the study also found a recurring theme in anti-trafficking efforts. Although some nations have developed or amended laws and policies there is a huge discrepancy between enforcement of these laws and policies making the anti-trafficking measures a problem when it comes to victim assistance and advocacy.
One of the critical parts of the study was the breaking up of categories of child vulnerabilities and creating different programs and approaches to combat each.
The study concludes that to address the situation what is needed is the development of a national child protection system within nations similar to the creation of health care systems. By taking a comprehensive, system-based approach to addressing the vulnerabilities of children, trafficking, as well as other violations, can be more effectively prevented before they happen.
Child trafficking is a child protection, human rights, and poverty issue and once it is addressed in a multi-dimensional approach then nations have a chance of actually helping and lifting children from this epidemic and preventing a new generation of victims.