2.5. Factors Influencing Child Trafficking
The causes of trafficking in persons are various and often differ from one country to the otherand even at intra-country level. Trafficking is a clandestine and complex phenomenon which is often driven by such social, economic, cultural and other related political and legal factors. In search of better conditions there is always a desire to migrate among impoverished individuals.This desire is often exploited by traffickers to recruit and gain control on the potential victims.There are some local conditions that make individuals want to migrate in search of better living, such as poverty, oppression, lack of social and economic opportunities, lack of human right and other similar conditions (UNODC 2008: 454).
Many factors contribute to the trafficking of men, women and children. According to studies conducted by AGRINET (2003) and ILO-IPEC (2002), the root causes of women and children trafficking are categorized into push and pull factors. The major push factors include poverty, unemployment or lack of economic opportunities, draught and famine, political instability and bad governance and poverty are important elements at play in explaining why some children are trafficked.
Poverty alone cannot explain why some countries have more children trafficking than others; some cities have worst forms of child labor than others; traffickers are active in some places and not in others; some communities face more child trafficking than others; some families are more at risk of trafficking than others; girls are most at risk in some instances and boys in others. There are many children living in poverty who do not fall victim to trafficking (ILO 2009).
Studies undertaken in two sub-regions of Africa, West and Central Africa,by UNICEF in 1998 and 2000, have given us someinsight into the factors that contribute to and drive the practice of child trafficking. Analyses in those studies showed that poverty, cultural values and traditional beliefsystems all work to weaken the protection of child rights and push children towardstraffickers.
I must say that children and women trafficking in Africa is very complex. This reality goes beyond the abuse of traditional deployments or migration for labour.
According to UNICEF, poverty emerges as a major and ubiquitous causal factor. Thus, in the context of extreme poverty,the motive for the transfer of children is often economic.But poverty alone does not explain the prevalence of child trafficking in all countries.
Indeed, some of those most heavily involved in child trafficking do not necessarily have theworst social indicators, nor possess the worst cases of poverty. So, we need to come to gripswith the fact that there are other factors – indeed a very diverse and complex list of factors –that contribute to and fuel the business of child trafficking. So Let me briefly discuss just a few of factors stated in studies undertaken in West and Central Africa,by UNICEF in 1998 and 2000. These are,-
1. Lack of vocational and economic opportunities for the youth in the rural areas. Families seeing no economic opportunities at home will often place children with families or friends in areas where they believe the prospects for gainful employment may be greater. Children in these communities become easy prey for traffickers who promise trade and work opportunities.
2. Insufficient and/or inaccessible educational opportunities. The motive for moving children from the protective envelope of the family is often the search for education rather than the search for work. Traditional practices of placement and child movement within the extended family circle for educational purposes contribute to this factor.
3. Ignorance on the part of families and children of the risks involved in trafficking, such as risks of serious maltreatment, rape, torture, exposure to HIV/AIDS and even to psychological risks linked with separation, and emotional isolation. Sadly, our world in the 21st century is far less friendly and hospitable than we would like. It is an increasingly dangerous and threatening place for children. But for many parents – especially those from culturally insulated families and traditional communities, the idea of harming a child is alien to their reality and frame of reference.
4. High demand for cheap and submissive child labor in the informal economic sector. Children provide cheap labor and submit to abusive situations. They are often unaware of their rights or are powerless to seek assistance. Their vulnerability and eagerness to please make them attractive targets for the ruthless and greed driven predators in today’s world.
5. The desire of the youth for emancipation through migration. Studies have shown that children see in migration, not only the perception of becoming a better person, but also, the adventure of personal travel.
6. Institutional lapses such as inadequate political commitment, nonexistent national legislation against child trafficking, and absence of a judicial framework allowing for the perpetrators and accomplices of trafficking to be held responsible and punished for their acts.
7. Traditions and cultural values trafficking of children intersects the traditional role of extended families as caregivers and an early integration of children into the labor force. The ‘traditional placements’ of children in families of distant relatives or friends have mutated into a system motivated by economic objectives.
2.6 Consequences of Child Movement
Children who leave their environment may suffer unfairly from multi-dimensions. In Ethiopia, migration has its own salient consequences on children’s life. For example, the common effects are unemployment, economic constraints. (ESRC Research Group, 2006). A research report by UNICEF (2000) on the children working on the major streets of Ethiopia revealed that the effect of poverty usually creates suitable situation to violate children’s rights. Needless to say, many of the children are from low socio-economic families and even some others from the rural areas.
Child trafficking accompanied by short and long term psychological, social, economical and/or cultural consequences among which ESRC Research Group (2006) viewed the torments of migrant children in Ethiopia primarily as it pervade to the community and house hold results in impairment of family love and neglecting children may result in impoverishing the quantity and quality of the forth coming generation.
A study conducted by Belay (2006) found one of the possible consequences of child trafficking as psychological abuse and neglect. Corporal punishment by parents or guardians, family members, and relatives is an accepted cultural practice in Ethiopia. Besides from parents and other family members, many children are also abused (i.e., physically and sexually) by other persons who by chance meet them (Getnet, 2001).
Trafficking in persons has multifaceted impacts on the health and psychology of individual victims; it has also economic and political implications on the countries of origin and destination. So far there has not been any more rigorous empirical work on the health and other consequences of trafficking in persons. However, the human and social consequences of human trafficking, which range from the physical abuse and torture of victims to the psychological trauma, are compelling and unacceptable. The impact of trafficking on individuals and society is clearly destructive (UNODC 2008: 4).
Though trafficking has political and economic consequences on countries and societies, it is the individual victim that felt the most pervasive impacts of trafficking. child trafficking has an impact on the individuals it victimizes in all areas of their life, every stage of the trafficking process can involve physical, sexual and psychological abuse and violence, deprivation and torture, the forced use of substances, manipulation, economic exploitations and abusive working and living conditions (UNODC 2008: 9).
Physical and health effects of child are that the majorities of jobs that children’s do are harm to their physical development and even cause physical deformities after they trafficked from home place. In this regard children engaged in housed holds fen cants, garages, woods, daily labors and others without protective wears which in turn results in physical andpsychological effect on children’s (WHO, 2004).
The study on trafficked children for the purpose of sexual exploitation indicated that variety of result of sexual exploitation include long term emotional, behavioral, social and sexual problem. Children involved in commercial sexual exploitation experience physical harm that means rape, beating and assault by client’s partners and HIV/AIDS (ILO, 2004).
Trafficked girls are far more affected than boys both in terms of rehabbers as well as security of conditions they undergo. As the study conducted by ILO (2004) indicated children involved in domestic labor perform physical tasks including washing, looking, fetching water, gate keeping, looking after animals, taking and collecting children from school, laundry work, collecting fire wood, cultivating garden and others.
Jeanine Readliner (2004) disclosed that trafficking has devastating consequences forthose who fall victim to it, but it is especially damaging for children because its impact will last into the child’s future. In the worst cases, trafficking and the exploitation it involves can cause a child’s death, serious illness or permanent injury. The journey might be treacherous; the conditions of work are often dangerous; the standard of living provided by traffickers is invariably substandard. Jeanine further disclosed trafficked children may be denied access to doctors and health workers who could report their situation to the authorities. Often children who fall ill are simply turned out onto the streets by their exploiters and left to fend for themselves or in some cases may suffer a worse fate.
There are a number of further specific scourges occur in children’s life as long as they leave their local environment due to one or more reason; for example, physical maltreatment.( Belay ,200; Inter-American Commission of Women, 2001). Substance abuse and reproductive health diseases including HIV/AIDS.(Inter-American Commission of Women, 2001).Social stigma and sensitivity to domestic violence (ESRC Research Group, 2006).
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.
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 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.
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.
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2.8. An over view of children migration and trafficking in Ethiopia
Children under the age of 18 comprised close to half of the Ethiopian population, which was estimated to be 72.4 million in 2004 (UN, 2004).
According to CSA’s the 2007 population and housing census of Ethiopia, results for SNNPR, Gamo Gofa Zone and Chancha woreda, Children under the age of 19 in comprised more than half of the Region’s population, which is 8,164317 accounting about 59.1%, 852,730 / accounting about 58% and 55,699 /accounting 53.54% of the total population of geographical areas respectively.
Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries in the world. On account of different human development indicators, Ethiopia is ranked 169th out of 175 countries. During the period between 1990 and 2001, 81.9 percent of the population was living under 1 USD a day, and 44 percent of the population was living under the national poverty line (UNDP, 2003).
Agriculture, which is the largest sector in the country, is not developed. The main reasons for the poor performance of agriculture include insecurity of land tenure, diminishing size of farm plots, and lack of sufficient investment in the rural economy by government and the private sector (Desalegn&Aklilu, 1999)
The role of resource constrain as a hurdle to child right promotion is partly reflected in the failure or ineffective functioning of social services such as health and education, which is illustrated in the high malnutrition rates, high illiteracy figures, and the spread of HIV/AIDS, which has taken epidemic proportions.
According to Save the Children, the country has the lowest percentage of social services amongst poor countries (SC, 2001).
Trafficking occurred both internally, from rural parts of the country to cities, and abroad for the purpose of domestic work, agriculture, trading, sexual exploitation, and for petty crimes like begging. Adults, too, are trafficked for various reasons within and outside of the country (Aronowitz 2009: 80).
A research report by UNICEF (2000) revealed that the stiff demand of labor from children triggered children migration from rural parts of Ethiopia to the urban towns. ESRC Research Group (2006) even more confirmed that the exploitative nature of child labor forced the situation of child migration chronic in Ethiopia. The clear visualizations from diversified sources show that the problem is more persistent in Ethiopia from rural-urban and urban–urban than rural-rural and urban–rural pattern increased due to construction work opportunities in urban areas. (Pankhurst, 2005; ESRC Research Group on the Well being of Developing Countries, 2006). Child migration may occurs since there are ”pushing factors” such as the absence of occupational opportunities in the rural areas, and; prevalence of famine, drought, and conflict. (Gebre; Ezra cited in Menberu, 2006; Forum on Street Children, 2004).
Forum on Street Children Ethiopia (2004) augmented as child migration from rural to urban areas is evident since individuals tend to look for the gleaming city life. Moreover, young children migrate from rural areas of Ethiopia to the urban areas in order to avail educational access. (ESRC Research Group, 2006).
According to FSCE (2008), every year children are trafficked in large numbers particularly from Amhara, Oromiya and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional States to Addis Ababa. FSCE further disclosed that, the statistical information obtained for about four consecutive years (2004-2007) shows that domestic child trafficking is dramatically increasing. From 2004-2007 a total of 2243 children were trafficked from rural areas to Addis Ababa. The data also shows that every year, children are trafficked in large numbers particularly from Amhara, Oromiya and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional States to Addis Ababa (FSCE, 2008). A baseline study conducted by MCDP on Child Trafficking in ChenchaWoreda of GamogofaZone, revealed that male children are mainly trafficked from this location for the purpose of engaging them on weaving activities (MCDP, 2004).
The study conducted by IOM (2006) on Trafficking in women and children in Ethiopia also depicted that, every day, large number of children and young girls flock from various corners of the rural areas to the major cities either forced or deceived by traffickers and their close relatives. It was inspired from the study that the trends of trafficking in children from rural areas of Amhara Regional State to Addis Ababa and or the regional towns mainly for the purpose of prostitution and domestic works. Another route was identified form Gamogofa Zone of the Southern Region Nation Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, through which boys are trafficked for the purpose of engaging them in the traditional weaving industry.
A clear psychological investigation conducted by different scholars in Ethiopia uncovered some facts regarding children’s problems whether trafficking, migration etc may be a reflection of an authoritarian cultural orientation; and several activities, and decisions containing the specific child bearing (Ehetu cited in Belay Tefera, 2006) to ways of child rearing (Abraham; Habtamu quoted by Belay Tefera, 2006) are adult-centered and fulfill the interest of adults than children.In Ethiopia, most parents continue breading as many children as they can (Assefa;Dilnessaw cited in Belay Tefera, 2006) without sufficient source of revenue since children by per se are capable of making money, and which they are considered as the properties of their parents whenever they could be exploited (Eheteu quoted by Belay Tefera, 2006).CSA Ethiopia (2005) even revealed many of Ethiopia parents tend to have more than 8 children per a woman that may facilitate the situation for child labor exploitation, trafficking , migration and any form of maltreatment.
UNICEF (2007) has identified poverty, large family size, rapid urbanization among others as the major factor why many children are vulnerable to trafficking. Parents with large family are often prone to those traffickers deceit in giving away some of their children to city residents or even strangers promising a better life for them. Trafficking deprives child victims the privilege to exercise their wide range of rights, including the right to belong and identify, the right to freedom, education among others. ANPPCAN(2010).
The United Nations General Assembly (1990) attempted to indicate the causes of migration comprehensively. The agency claimed that migration has tremendous etiologies, and usually explained as due to interdependent factors like that of deficiencies in the economic, social and cultural dimensions.There are other specific factors that may cause child migration and trafficking. For instance, death of parents.(De Lang, 2007; Forum on Street Children Ethiopia, 2003); physical abuse by parents/guardians.(Forum on Street Children Ethiopia, 2004; Habtamu, 2006).Experiences from America and Western societies reveal that urbanization and industrialization increase the demand for cheap labor. In the 19th Century, this resulted in requirement for child labor in the cities of Europe and North America. This is paralleled today by the high demand for child labor in the manufacturing industries in India and other South Asian countries, particularly in the informal, unregulated sector of the economy (Dottridge, 2006). Such trends are also reflective in Ethiopia since children get in to trafficking from the southern part of Ethiopia; for example, from Chencha district to Addis Ababa for weaving, whereas from Wolaita areas to Arsi and Bale to take part in farming activity and herding. (Endashaw, et al., 2006).
The vast majority of human trafficking studies in Ethiopia deal with the misery which Ethiopian victims of human trafficking experience in the destination areas. Majority of the studies focus on the life experiences, recruitment process, and expectation of those returned victims of human trafficking. There is lack of research in Ethiopia on the factors that affecting child trafficking face in the home or village and trafficking process, on the trafficking trajectories of victims, and on the operation and networks of traffickers. As a result there is a limited understanding of the factors that affecting child trafficking and trafficking trajectories of child trafficking victims in Ethiopia. There is also a poor understanding of the networks of traffickers and their modes of operation. In general the current state of knowledge about child trafficking in Ethiopia is poor and insufficient.
Overall, overviews of the available studies show that there is lack of any comprehensive research carried out in relation to all aspects of child trafficking in Ethiopia. The majority of information available in this area is focused on the exploitation and life experiences of victims, their expectations before migration, and the prospects and challenges of work migration. These studiesmay not accurately reflect the trafficking trajectories of victims and the problems they face before and in the trafficking process; and the networks and modes of operation of traffickers.