Child Smuggling Cases Shed New Light on Growing Problems

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Tuesday, October 1, 2002
Brian McCarthy
As a series of high profile cases shows, recent international efforts to eradicate child smuggling have met varying degrees of success. In a report released in June titled A Future Without Child Labour, the International Labour Organizations lauded efforts by some developing countries to eradicate child trafficking. The report, which calls on countries to enter into bilateral and/or multilateral agreements to restrict child trafficking, cited promising efforts in Southeast Asia, South Asia and West and Central Africa. In particular, the ILO referred to a bilateral agreement recently signed between Cote d?Lvoire and Mali. Other efforts not mentioned in the ILO report include a recent law passed by the Bangladeshi government which imposes strict penalties on adults who take children out of the country for work. The law came as a response to reports which surfaced in the printed media of young boys, many as young as four and fice, being taken from their families in Bangladesh to work as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates. However, there is still much work to be done to help to millions of children smuggled across borders every year. Children trafficking, particularly the trafficking of girls for the purpose of prostitution, is a worldwide problem which demands the attention of policy makers in rich and poor countries alike. The smuggling of girls into the United States from Central America is a growing concern for U.S. officials.