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April 2, 2019 Critical Thinking

2.7. Key actors involved in child trafficking
According to UNICEF Innocenti research center,2000, trafficking process or network involves three key actors: victims, users and traffickers.
Victims
The recruitment of the victim often occurs in one of two ways: (a) traffickers contact the potential victim or his or her family – in many cases traffickers know the victim or the victim’s family and are likely to take advantage of a condition of general vulnerability, e.g. illiteracy, poverty, lack of information; (b) a potential victim or his or her family contact traffickers – the potential victim is usually in a precarious position, seeking “help” to escape a situation of oppression, desperation or persecution, and to reach a desired destination.This can lead to a possible link between smuggling and trafficking. UNICEF,2000
Traffickers
Traffickers occupy a central place between supply and demand. On the one hand, they try to increase the supply of trafficked persons through recruitment, often using false information, fraudulent identification and abuse of power. On the other hand, they try to boost the demand by providing easy access to a steady supply of trafficked persons. Traffickers may be organized in criminal groups or be linked together in a chain of middlemen. In a minority of cases, international criminal gangs snatch or recruit the children themselves. For example, a group of Tanzanian girls in Sweden described to medical personnel how an African woman came to their parents’ house and offered the girls “education opportunities” abroad. The girls were taken to Sweden by the woman, kept in her house and shown sex videos and then forced to work on the streets as prostitutes.
It is possible for victims to enhance the traffickers’ network. Trafficked youth are sometimes sent back to their villages to recruit new children for work in the mines. In other instances there are reported cases of women engaged in prostitution returning to their villages to recruit young girls with promises of easy money.
In the case of trafficked children it is crucial to explore influences within the family, in particular the role that parents may play. There are numerous reports of parents inducing or forcing children into trafficking because this is perceived as the only strategy for survival. It is not uncommon to find some degree of family involvement in the transaction, such as parents accepting money from traffickers, distant relatives paying intermediaries to find work abroad, or parents handing over their children based on the promise of education, professional training or paid work.
Users
The distinction between users and traffickers is crucial in order to understand the various patterns and to design effective interventions. Users are an important dimension of the trafficking process. As well as acting individually, they may be networked through access to activities of an illegal nature (such as prostitution or sexual abuse of children), to reduce costs by using cheap labour (such as illegal immigrants), to have access to easily manageable workers(such as working children), or to fulfil scarce or unavailable supply (such as adoption).
In many cases they are not aware of or interested in the process of trafficking or the routes and procedures used. Very often they do not perceive themselves as part of the trafficking network, although they are, in fact, an engine in the machinery of exploitation.