Child Trafficking

Between 2005 and 2013, the Government of Sierra Leone convicted 22 people for human trafficking crimes in the country. Some of the sentences handed out to the traffickers were for 22 years.

In its 2012 report on human trafficking, the United States Department of State wrote that the Government of Sierra Leone was not fulling its anti-trafficking responsibilities.

NGOs in the country believe that the 2,500 estimated children who live on the streets of the capital are at high-risk of being victims of human trafficking.

Source:  Tommy Trenchard, “Sierra Leone’s Child Trafficking to Blame for Street Kids,” AllAfrica, June 7, 2013.

Security services in Indonesia broke up a “baby farm” where mothers were being paid between $160 to $250 (1.6 Million and 2.5 Million Indonesian Rupiah) for their babies.

The baby traffickers would search for babies through maternity wards and look for unmarried or poor mothers and offer to purchase the baby. Once the group checked on the health status of the baby, they would then obtain birth certificates and other documents from corrupt officials.

Between November and December 2012, police state that up to 12 babies were bought and sold.

Police also believe that many of the babies are sold abroad for international adoption agencies. Police discovered one baby with a legitimate passport and a $500 ticket in its name to Singapore.

(Additional trafficker prices.)

Source:  Michael Bachelard, “Thousands of babies sold on Indonesian black market,” Sydney Morning Herald, May 11, 2013.

A report by the European Commission stated that the number of identified and presumed victims of human trafficking with the EU in 2010 was 9,528 people.

24 out of the 27 EU member states officially identified 5,535 victims of human trafficking in 2010.

Between 2008 to 2010, the number of victims in the EU is estimated to have increased by 18 percent. During the three year period, 15 percent of all victims were children.

Around 62 percent of all victims were trafficked for sexual services.

(Latest statistics on prostitution.)

Source:  “Trafficking in human beings,” 2013 edition, eurostat, European Commission, April 2013, page 9.


The United States Department of State found that hundreds of underage girls in Egypt enter temporary marriages with wealthy tourists in return for monetary payments to their families.

These marriages, called “Summer Marriages,” are not legally binding.

The wealthy men, usually from Saudi Arabia, pay the families between $500 to $5,000 as a type of dowry for the bride. After the summer is over, the girl returns to her family.

These arrangements are often organized by marriage brokers or the girl’s parents.

Source:  Milena Veselinovic, “Scandal of ‘summer brides’,” Independent, July 15, 2012.

According to a report by the International Crisis Group, child hit men recruited and trained by Mexican Drug Cartels are paid $78 (1,000 Mexican Pesos) to commit a murder. One four-teen year old boy who was interviewed on television stated that he had decapitated four people.

Teenagers who work for the drug cartels are able to make between $390 to $468 (5,000 to 6,000 Pesos) per two-week pay period. They are outfitted with Uzis, Ar-15 rifles, and 9 mm handguns and are charged with killing targets.  In comparison, if a  minor working in Mexico were to work in regular job, the teen would be paid about $298 (3,800 Pesos) per month.

Source:  “Pena Nieto’s Challenge: Criminal Cartels and Rule of Law in Mexico,” International Crisis Group, Latin American Report No.48, March 19, 2013.

According to a report by the Associated Press, in 2013 there were 100,000 children living in orphanages in Cambodia.

An anti-trafficking organization in the country estimates that up to 70 percent of the orphans have at least one parent living.

Source:  Associated Press, “Cambodia shuts foreign-run orphanage accused of beating children, human trafficking,” Washington Post, March 25, 2013.

An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 children in Tehran, Iran are forced to work as beggars on the street or in sweat shops.

(More child trafficking statistics.)

Source:  Cesar Chelala, “Afghanistan’s legacy of child opium addiction,” Japan Times, Opinion, March 1, 2013.

A report released in 2013 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime offered a breakdown of victims of human trafficking activities worldwide.

Trafficking victims have been rescued in 118 countries and represent 136 different nationalities, according to the UNODC.

Sex trafficking accounts for 58 percent of all human trafficking cases that are investigated around the world. Labor trafficking accounts for 36 percent of the cases.

Women account for 55 to 60 percent of the victims, and women and girls account for 75 percent of trafficking victims.

(See prices of human traffickers here.)

Children account for 27 percent of victims during the 2007 to 2010 time period,  up from 20 percent between 2003-2006. Two out of every three child trafficking victims were girls.

In total, there are an estimated 20.9 million people around the world who are victims of human trafficking.

Source:  Associated Press, “UN Says Human Trafficking Found in 118 Countries,” ABC News, February 13, 2013.

At the start of 2013, the reported price to purchase an abducted boy in China was $14,473 (90,000 Yuan). The price in 2013 was higher than the previous price of $6,432 (40,000 Yuan) that was reported in previous years.

The higher price for an abducted boy in China in 2013 was attributed to a crackdown on child trafficking by Chinese police that began in 2009. Between 2009 and 2012, police reported that over 54,000 children have been rescued from trafficking gangs.

The children are abducted and sold to coupes who usually do not have boys.

(Prices of human traffickers.)

Source:  “Child Trafficking: A cruel trade,” Economist, January 26, 2013.

The Florida Department of Children and Families reported that there were 427 reported cases of child trafficking within the state in 2011.

In 2009, there were 43 cases of child trafficking in Florida.

(Latest crime in the US statistics.)

Source:  Steven Kurlander, “Human Trafficking and Prostitution: Here’s a Better Way to Confront Them,” Huffington Post, January 22, 2013.