Child Trafficking

Between 2003 to 2006, child trafficking cases consisted of 20 percent of all human trafficking cases, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Between 2007 to 2010, security officials detected that children were involved in 27 percent of all human trafficking cases. In Africa and the Middle East, the cases of trafficking involving children is around two-thirds of all cases.

According to an official with Unicef, there were 1.2 million known cases of child trafficking that takes place each year, and that for every 800 victims of human trafficking, one person is convicted for the crimes.

One factor that contributes to the problems of child trafficking is the lack of official identities for many children around the world. An estimated 230 million children worldwide are born without official birth certificates, making them impossible to track.

(Additional human trafficking facts and statistics.)

Source:  Rick Gladstone, “Real Threat in a Known Market for Children,” New York Times, May 7, 2014.

There are an estimated 200,000 prostitutes working in Bangladesh.

In 2004, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated that 10,000 underage girls were working as prostitutes in Bangladesh. Other estimates about the girls working in the sex industry placed the number at 29,000. Many of the girls working in the sex industry are victims of human trafficking and their families were paid $250 by traffickers.

(More prices of human trafficking victims.)

90 percent of the prostitutes in Bangladesh take a steroid in order to appear older and to assist them in having sex with more clients each day. The steroid, called oradexon, is usually used by farmers to fatten up their livestock.

Sex customers in Bangladesh pay 60 cents for each visit, while the young girls pay 16 cents for the steroid.

(More prostitution rates worldwide.)

Source:  “Bangladeshi sex workers take steroids to snag clients,” Deutsche Welle, February 28, 2014.

The Philippines National Police (PNP) stated that live streaming of children forced to perform sexual acts is a multi-billion dollar cyber market worldwide. Web operators in the Philippines charge customers up to $100 per hour to view children perform requested sexual acts on camera. In addition to live streaming, videos and images are sold for $22 (1,000 Philippine Pesos.)

Criminal justice programs fighting the trade state that the Philippines is among the top countries in the world where sexual abuse of children takes place for online viewing. Intelligence collected by government security agencies find that these cyber dens where webcams operate are concentrated in the Luzon and Cebu areas.

Source: “PHL among top producers of child pornography, international task force says,” GMA News Online, January 17, 2014.


An international enforcement action broke up a child pornography ring in January 2014 that was providing customers with webcam streaming of children committing sex acts. The webcam was based in the Philippines and lead to 29 people being arrested. The investigation spanned across 12 countries and identified 733 suspects. After breaking up the ring, criminal justice programs in the Philippines rescued 15 children between the ages of 6 and 15.

The Souther region of Cebu in the Philippines  has become a hotspot for children engaging on sex acts on webcams. In September 2013, a Filipino couple was arrested for forcing their 3 children to perform on webcams. They were charging customers $100 to view their children.

(More child trafficking statistics here.)

Source:  AFP, “Philippine child webcam abuse ring uncovered in police probe,” Google News, January 16, 2014.

Gangs operating in the Colombian city of Medellin manage an underage human trafficking syndicate where the virginity of a child is auctioned off to the highest bidder.

According to investigations conducted by a non-governmental organization, gang members recruit girls as young as ten to be a part of their organization. Although some girls are passed around by the gang members, some are offered up as virgins to international sex tourists who visit Colombia.

In an interview with Insight Crime, the researcher stated that gangs run online auctions where virgin girls are offered for sale to the highest bidder. Each online customer is issued a secret PIN number to access the site. Once logged in, the customer is able to view up to 60 girls that are available for purchase. Customers have bid up to $2,600 on the website. Once the auction is completed, the site is taken down and all pictures of the girls are destroyed.

In addition to the auctions, there has also been reports that virgin girls are offered by human traffickers to Colombian’s drug cartels and paramilitary officers. Once the head official and other officers or cartel members are done with the girl, she is sent away to become a street prostitute.

Many of the young girls who end up in these auctions disappear from society. According to the Mayor’s office, nearly 600 children have disappeared in 2013, with a majority of the children missing being girls. Data from various criminal justice departments state that the number of children missing has been increasing each year.

(More prices of human trafficking victims.)

Source:  James Bargent, “Children, Sex and Gangs in Medellin,” Insight Crime, December 16, 2013.

A report release by researchers at  Tilburg University in the Netherlands found that around 25,000 to 30,000 children were kidnapped and held for ransom by senior military officers with the Eritrea’s military between 2007 and 2012.

According to the report, all students in Eritrea are required to serve at a military camp in order to graduate from high school. At the camp, children between 16 to 17 years old would be kidnapped by military officers. While in captivity, the officers would call the victims family to demand a ransom. According to interviews conducted with survivors, the soldiers would demand a ransom payment of $7,500 to release the victim. If the families were unable to pay the ransom demand, then the military would sell the children to Bedouin traffickers.

In total, the researchers estimate that up to $600 Million in ransom have been paid out to the military.

(Cost of a human sold by traffickers.)

Source:  Martin Plaut, “Eritrea’s military is trafficking the nation’s children, report says,” Guardian, December 3, 2013.

Criminal justice programs and social services in Nigeria have seen a rise of baby factories in the country where women bear babies that are sold to couples.  Women between the ages of 14 to 25 are kept in buildings primarily in the south east region of the country. In the buildings, the women are either forced or convinced to get pregnant and to sell the baby for a fee.

According to one woman who was kept in a factory, she was promised $378 (60,000 Nigerian Naira) is she was to produce a boy, and $189 (30,000 Naira) is she conceived a girl.

It was previously reported that these brokers would then sell the babies to couples for $1,500.

Source:  Millie Ibe, “Nigeria: Dismantling the Booming Babymaking Factories,” AllAfrica, November 28, 2013.

A report in the British publication Daily Mail interviewed children who were prostituting themselves along the BR-116 highway in Brazil.

An 11 year old girl stated that truckers and other men pick her up on the side of the road and pay her $10 (25 Brazilian Real) for sex. There were previous reports by the BBC that stated the men pay children $5.50 for sex.

According to criminal justice agencies in Brazil, there are 262 places identified along the highway that connects San Paulo and Fortaleza that is a hub for the child sex trade. Based on the distance of the highway, every ten miles of highway will have a child selling sex on the side of the streets.

It was previously estimated that up to 250,000 children are working as prostitutes in Brazil.

(More human trafficking statistics.)

Source:  Jill Riley, “The child sex slaves of Brazil’s Highway From Hell: Horrifying story of how girls as young as NINE are forced to sell themselves for just £8 a time,” Daily Mail, November 12, 2013.

An organization in Africa estimates that up to 15,000 young African soccer players are victims of human trafficking each year.

The Culture Foot Solidaire reported that human trafficking agents approach players families and tells them that their son earn lucrative contracts in Europe. The agent usually presents a fake business card that bears the logo of European Football clubs. In exchange, the agent tells the family that he will represent the player for a fee of $13,400 (€10,000).

The players are taken by the agents to Europe or Asia and are simply abandoned there.

(More prices of human trafficking victims here.)

Source:  Brian Homewood, “Trafficking of young African players still rampant,” Reuters, November 8, 2013.

According to the National Commission for Child Protection, there have been 21 girls between the ages of 14 to 16 who have been caught pimping out other girls in Indonesia in 2013.

One 17 year old girl told the Associated Press that she started pimping girls at the age of 14. At the peak of her operation, she had nearly 30 girls working for her as prostitutes. The girl was making up to $3,000 a month as a pimp. In one transaction, a client paid nearly $2,000, a BlackBerry and a motorcycle in order to have sex with a girl who was a virgin. The child pimp made $500 from that transaction.

In a separate case, a 15 year old girl who was employing 10 prostitutes was collecting 25 percent of the $50 to $150 per transaction that men were paying her workers. The girls who were working as prostitutes was the child pimps classmates and Facebook friends.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are between 40,000 to 70,000 children who are sexually exploited in Indonesia each year.

Source:  Associated Press, “‘The money was too strong to resist’: Indonesian kids pimp out other kids for sex,” NBC News, October 30, 2013.