Trafficking of migrant children on the rise as the European Refugee Crisis continues

kid trafficking post

First post, let’s not sugar coat it, let’s dive straight in with the real issues. Trafficking is an abhorrent violation of anyone’s human rights, let alone a vulnerable child. It might not be the shortest post but we’ll give such an important issue the time it deserves. Read on to unpack the realities of our legal system and the effect on the trafficking of migrant children.

The ‘Refugee Crisis’, a term bounced around our media since 2015, but what does it mean? The current Refugee Crisis refers to the sudden and large influx of migrants crossing European borders as triggered by the increasingly in-habitable environments in Syria, South Sudan and Iraq to name but a few. Consequently, there has been mounting pressure on European states to accept those seeking refuge and assist them. This pressure on the states, as we have recently seen reach breaking point in Italy, makes the term Refugee Crisis two fold. Firstly, it is a crisis because of the conditions that the refugees are fleeing in their home states. Secondly, it is a crisis because of the insurmountable pressure being piled onto European states, putting a strain on resources and funds.

As time goes on and the number of migrants attempting to cross into Europe increases, resources become more and more stretched and the conditions to which they arrive in Europe rapidly deteriorate. As one can imagine, such factors are not conducive to a safe environment for children. When we combine increasingly cramped and unsafe environments, with overloaded European governments and a lack of protective legal provisions, it is no surprise that it has become a breeding ground for the trafficking of migrant children.

“Europe is the world’s most dangerous destination for “irregular” migration”. – International Organization for Migration

The very fact that these children are placed at risk of trafficking through no fault of their own tugs at my heart strings. As if they haven’t already been through enough? They are a refugee by virtue of the fact they are fleeing persecution of some kind in their home country, not by choice. Yet, they are greeted in Europe with another form of persecution (albeit complex to prove under the Refugee Convention), which may be equally as horrifying as the one they were running from in the first place.

girls in camp

So, why is trafficking on the rise? Of course there are many angles from which we could approach this, however we will proceed from a legal perspective. Look away now if brief descriptions of legal instruments is not your thing. Read More »