Child trafficking is a crime – and represents the tragic end of childhood. It refers to the exploitation of girls and boys, primarily for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children account for 27% of all the human trafficking victims worldwide, and two out of every three child victims are girls.

Sometimes sold by a family member or an acquaintance, sometimes lured by false promises of education and a "better" life — the reality is that these trafficked and exploited children are held in slave-like conditions without enough food, shelter or clothing, and are often severely abused and cut off from all contact with their families.

Children are often trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation or for labor, such as domestic servitude, agricultural work, factory work and mining, or they’re forced to fight in conflicts. The most vulnerable children, particularly refugees and migrants, are often preyed upon and their hopes for an education, a better job or a better life in a new country.

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, and as a result, children are forced to drop out of school, risk their lives and are deprived of what every child deserves – a future.

How Girls Are Affected By Trafficking

Tragically, both girls and boys are vulnerable to being trafficked. However, girls are disproportionally targeted and must deal with the life-long effects of gender inequality and gender-based violence.

Girls are 2x as likely to be reported as trafficking victims as boys
Girls tend to be trafficked for forced marriages and sexual slavery; boys are typically exploited for forced labor or as soldiers
About 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced sex or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives.

Often, girls around the world are forced to drop out of school or denied access to income-generating opportunities. This resulting social exclusion can trap girls in a cycle of extreme poverty, as well as increased vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation.

What is child trafficking?

Trafficking, according to the United Nations, involves three main elements[iv]:

The act - Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons.

The means - Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim.

The purpose - For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

How does trafficking differ from smuggling?

Trafficking and smuggling are terms that are commonly mixed up or considered synonymous. They both involved transporting another individual, but there are some critical differences.

H4: Smuggling involves the illegal entry of a person into a state where he or she is not a resident.

There are three key differences between trafficking and smuggling:

Consent – Individuals involved have consented to the smuggling. Trafficking victims either have not consented or have been coerced into consent.

Exploitation – When the smuggled individual arrives at their destination, the smuggling ends. Trafficking is the continuous exploitation of a victim to generate profit for the traffickers.

Transnationality – A person who is smuggled is always brought from one state to another. Trafficking can occur either within or between states.

How many children are victim to child trafficking?

An estimated 1.2 million children are affected by trafficking at any given time. Around the world, most children who are victims of trafficking involved in forced labor.

- 168 million children are victims of forced labor.
- 215 million children are engaged in child labor.
- 115 million of those children are involved in hazardous work.

How is Family Preservation Foundation helping victims of child trafficking?

Family Preservation Foundation works to combat child trafficking through prevention, protection, and prosecution. In order to maximize our efforts, we work with communities, local organizations and civil society, and national governments to protect children from being exploited – and to help restore the dignity of children who have survived.

Family Preservation Foundation takes a holistic approach to tackle the root causes of trafficking and involves children in the design and implementation of solutions.

Working alongside communities and local and national governments Family Preservation Foundation supports:

Preventing trafficking at the community level by creating awareness of the risks of migration
Providing support to children who have been trafficked and help them return home and reintegrate into their communities
Improving law enforcement and instigate legal reform to protect survivors of trafficking.
By supporting livelihoods, we help families avoid the need for their children to work. By raising awareness of trafficking, we reduce the number of children being trafficked. By helping rehabilitate survivors, we empower them to rebuild their lives. By protecting unaccompanied refugee children, we keep them from the clutches of traffickers.

Does child trafficking happen in the United States?

Yes, children are targeted for trafficking in the U.S. and are trafficked into the country from around the world. Often, children are trafficked from developing to developed countries. Victims are trafficked under various circumstances, including prostitution, online sexual exploitation, the illegal drug trade and forced labor.

In the U.S., 60% of child sex trafficking victims have a history in the child welfare system. Foster children in particular are vulnerable to being victimized by child trafficking. Children in the foster care system often live in of the poorest communities in America, where Family Preservation Foundation works to break the cycle of poverty and ensure that every child gets a healthy start, a quality education, and is protected.

When is World Trafficking Day?

In 2013, the United Nations passed a resolution designating July 30 as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness about the growing issue of human trafficking and the protection of victims and their rights.

Who can I contact if I witness or suspect child trafficking?

The Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline – Professional crisis counselors will connect you with a local number to report abuse. Call: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) – Aimed at preventing child abduction and exploitation, locating missing children, and assisting victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation. Call: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

National Human Trafficking Resource Center – A 24-hour hotline open all day, every day, which helps identify, protect, and serve victims of trafficking. Call: 1-800-373-7888.

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Family Preservation Foundation believes every child deserves a happy, healthy and safe future with their family and loved ones. We are working to save the children of America. Since our founding, we’ve changed the lives of many children in in the United States. We give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes to save our children – every day and in times of family crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. We are a top-rated charity.


To send feedback, suggestions or to request information on Family Preservation Foundation, Inc. 
contact: info@familypreservationfoundation.org| Tel: +1 (866) 469-5777 or +1 (732) 377-2038