Human Trafficking in AngolaAngola is a country of origin and destination for men, women and children who are victims of trafficking, for the purpose of forced prostitution and forced labor. Domestically, victims of trafficking end up working in agriculture, construction, households and artisanal diamond mines. Women and children are often victims of human trafficking in Angola, with many women coming from Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Namibia, and traffickers sending many Angolan women and children to Namibia, South Africa and some European countries like Portugal. Since traffickers often lure victims with the promise of employment and a better life, Angola can implement several measures to improve the lives of its citizens. Here is some information about some of the challenges that Angola is facing that may play into the prevalence of human trafficking in Angola.

The Right to Form Unions

The law indicates that workers, except those that the armed forces or police employ, have the right to form and join independent trade unions. However, an issue is that authorities in Angola do not always enforce its laws adequately. The law states that for a union to form, at least 30% of workers in an industry or province must go through a registration process and receive approval from the authorities. The law also provides for the right to collective bargaining but excludes public sector workers. However, the country has prohibited strikes by members of the armed forces, police, prosecutors and judges, prison staff, firefighters, public sector workers and oil workers. 


The Angolan government enforced the Minimum Wage Act in the formal labor sector. In 2019, the national minimum wage was Kwanzas 16,503 ($52.60 USD) and the aim was for it to reach Kwanzas 21,454 ($68.30 USD) for the agricultural sector, Kwanzas 26,817 ($85.50 USD) for the trade and manufacturing sector and Kwanzas 32,181 ($102.50 USD) for the extractive industries sector. Furthermore, while the law guarantees a safe working environment for all sectors of the economy, labor protection standards do not protect most workers in the informal sector.   

Discrimination and Working Labor

The Constitution and the law prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, sex, religion, disability or language, and the government has generally enforced these laws effectively in the formal sector. The law provides for equal pay for equal work, and women often hold at least some high-level positions in state industry and the private sector. However, many women tend to hold low-level positions, especially in the informal sector. The law prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labor too.

The government reportedly does not enforce this law effectively, partly because there are not enough labor inspectors. Penalties are reportedly inadequate to deter violations. Children under 14 are prohibited from working too. To obtain a work contract, children must prove that they are at least 14 years old and that the work does not interfere with their formal education or cause them physical or mental harm. Between the ages of 14 and 16, parental consent to work is necessary. Tuition is free and compulsory for children up to sixth grade.

NGOs and Immigration Policies

There are several hundred non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working for transparency, human rights and political reform regarding human trafficking in Angola. Organizations critical of the government are often subject to state interference and can experience the threat of legal action or closure. In 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled that a 2015 decree requiring NGOs to register with the government and subjecting NGOs receiving donations to further scrutiny was no longer constitutional due to criticism from civil society. This criticism openly described the decree as restrictive and intrusive, as it required NGOs to obtain government approval before engaging in activities and allowed the government to monitor the organizations.

One of the best-known NGOs in Angola that is working on human rights is Missio, which has the main objective to support the Catholic Church in missionary dioceses around the world. The organization changes lives by listening to local needs and aiding in the creation of infrastructure, such as chapels, schools, orphanages, clinics and dispensaries and centers where young church members can thrive and grow. All this support is most tangible in the funds that it collects and distributes, but even more tangible in the spiritual and pastoral unity it creates. Therefore, the organization has two main areas of activity: mission animation and education and fundraising. It was registered in April 1996 and has raised more than £7 million to date and may have an impact on reducing human trafficking in Angola.

Several obstacles exist that prevent refugees and migrants from finding employment. Regulation 273/13 prevents refugees from obtaining a compulsory business license, which is necessary to own and operate a business. Refugees have also reported that they often have difficulty working in the formal sector because they cannot obtain legal documents. The government is making significant efforts to combat human trafficking in Angola. It has educated the public about the dangers of trafficking, amended the constitution to explicitly prohibit trafficking and maintained anti-trafficking funding despite a significant decline in government revenue and subsequent cuts to the national budget.   

– Manos S. Karousos
Photo: Flickr

Far outnumbering the global cocaine market, the “industry” of international human trafficking sees about $99 billion as of 2022. The connection between poverty and human trafficking manifests in how the crime tends to concentrate in lower-income countries such as Cambodia, Pakistan, Romania and Belarus. While authorities continue to work to eradicate the crime, Freekind and STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT) are two organizations combating human trafficking.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a crime that trades and exploits people for profit. According to the United Nations, three important elements define trafficking: the act, the means and the purpose. The act refers to the recruitment or transportation of victims. The means include the violence and deception that traffickers use to traffic victims. Lastly, the purpose is the exploitation of victims.

Different Types of Human Trafficking

There are two main types of human trafficking: sexual and forced labor. Sexual labor is the most common form of human trafficking. Research on sex trafficking shows that, on average, 4.8 million are sexually exploited at any given time. Among these victims, 99% of the sex trafficked are women and girls, according to the U.N. International Labour Office. The same report states that about 25 million were in forced labor in 2017. Of this group, 42% were male, and 19% were children.

Poverty and Human Trafficking

While human trafficking is a global crisis, lower-income countries often have the highest cases of trafficking due to a lack of resources. Lack of employment opportunities is highest in places with extreme poverty. Consequently, traffickers exploit this vulnerability by falsely offering jobs or training. Job seekers in lower-income areas frequently migrate for work. These migrant workers, particularly young people and children, become vulnerable targets. Sociocultural structures in other regions lacking equal rights for females also see more child and forced marriages.


Two organizations are combating human trafficking by using education and technology.

Freekind focuses on rebuilding lives and raising awareness. To meet these objectives, Freekind designed the Prevention Project curriculum in 2012.  This award-winning program was produced by human trafficking survivors, educators and advocates, rooted in the belief that “if change is going to happen, it must begin with the young generation.” The curriculum is designed for secondary school students and youth service providers. Through interactive sessions, many students have become aware of the seriousness of human trafficking and have become committed to combating the crime.

STOP THE TRAFFIK uses technology to fight human trafficking. Like Freekind, STT believes in uniting people across the globe through information, inspiration and mobilization to understand human trafficking better. In addition, STT also trains people to report trafficking with the STOP APP, a smartphone app that people can use globally to report suspicious activities of human trafficking securely and anonymously.

STT analyzes the app’s data to provide information on global human trafficking hot spots and trends. According to STT’s Final Impact Report of 2020, data from the STOP APP progressed 11 human trafficking cases to authorities.

Human trafficking is an issue that requires more attention from authorities. In areas with extreme poverty, individuals are at a greater risk of becoming targets of traffickers. Organizations such as Freekind and STT have dedicated themselves to combating human trafficking. Through prevention education and technology, both organizations address the seriousness of human trafficking and aim to bring people together to prevent trafficking from taking place.

– Mimosa Ngai
Photo: Pexels

Human Trafficking in Malawi's Dzaleka Refugee Camp“The [human trafficking] situation was much worse than we first envisaged,” says Maxwell Matewere from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Malawi. “I even witnessed a kind of Sunday market, where people come to buy children who were then exploited in situations of forced labor and prostitution,” he says to the U.N. The place in question is Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Created in 1994, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR)  built the camp to accommodate 10,000 refugees escaping war and violence from neighboring countries. It now houses more than 50,000 refugees with even more refugees forced to return to the camp because of the government’s decree. The UNODC and Malawian Police Service have uncovered instances of human trafficking in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

Human Trafficking in the Refugee Camp

Human trafficking in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp takes many forms. Traffickers force men into hard labor while women and girls face sexual exploitation inside the camp or traffickers move them to the city or other countries in southern Africa. Traffickers even recruit children for farm labor and domestic work. Oftentimes, traffickers require refugees to pay off a debt accumulated from “being smuggled into Malawi.” Traffickers then force the victims into labor or prostitution to pay off the debt. The UNODC suspects that the camp may even be a transitory point for larger international human trafficking networks.

Why Human Trafficking Persists

Since the discovery of human trafficking in Dzaleka, the UNODC has taken measures to dismantle the organizations, identify and rescue victims as well as prosecute the perpetrators. However, several factors make dismantling human trafficking networks exceptionally difficult.

  • Victims are Afraid of Testifying. According to the Malawian Police Service, prosecution is difficult because many victims are afraid to testify in court. According to the U.N., the primary reason is that victims fear that traffickers may target them or their families. In some cases, victims related to the trafficker will object to testifying out of a remaining “sense of love or loyalty.” Furthermore, victims are sometimes reluctant to cooperate because they do not trust the officials.
  • Distrust of Law Enforcement. Many victims have difficulty trusting law enforcement. Not only does this make victims reluctant to testify but this also makes it more difficult to identify and rescue victims. According to Deutsche Welle, the basis of distrust comes from a history of corruption among Malawian officials. As Caleb Ng’ombo from People Serving Girls at Risk (PSGR) said, “We still have high levels of corruption, and so most of the trafficking cases are thriving… The people entrusted to do their job cannot do it because someone is paying them under the table.” With an underlying sense of distrust, victims from Malawi’s refugee camps may doubt the intentions of undercover police officers attempting a rescue, complicating the process.
  • Untrained Staff. Upon the discovery of human trafficking in Malawi’s refugee camp, the UNODC held an initial training at Dzaleka to train the staff on identifying and preventing human trafficking. According to Matewere, “There’s very little knowledge of human trafficking among the camp staff.” In fact, after initial training, some members experienced feelings of guilt when they realized the prevalence of trafficking within the camp. Now, the camp has implemented the Protocol on Trafficking in Persons in order to effectively prevent and respond to incidences of human trafficking.

Anti-Trafficking Measures

Despite the difficulty of dismantling human trafficking in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp, the UNODC and UNHCR are determined in their goals. Not only have they implemented new training and anti-trafficking procedures, but they have also coached 28 camp officials who will train their colleagues in turn. Furthermore, with U.N. intervention, victims now reside in safe houses instead of being placed in jail alongside perpetrators. With these steps in place, the UNODC has rescued more than 90 victims from the Dzaleka Refugee Camp as of June 2022.

Numerous NGOs are also working on the ground in Malawi. People Serving Girls at Risk (PSGR), for example, cares for women and girls who have faced trafficking or exploitation and handles more than 200 cases a year.

An undercover policeman trained by the UNODC identified and rescued a 16-year-old Congolese girl from forced prostitution. Trafficked at just 10 years old, she came to the camp in 2009 after leaving the DRC due to conflict and violence. At first, she did not trust the officer, but, eventually, he gained her trust. “That evening, I had been beaten by one of my clients for refusing to have sex due to a cut that was bleeding. I was in pain and it was visible. The officer was friendly and he took me to a safe house,” she said to the U.N. Now, she is taking computer literacy lessons and hopes to reunite with her family.

Looking Ahead

Although the path to eradicating human trafficking in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp is complex, progress is visible. Hopefully, with the combined efforts of the U.N. and the government, Malawi can eradicate human trafficking in the refugee camp.

– Emilie Zhang
Photo: Flickr

Sex Trafficking in Papua New GuineaEvery year, both citizens and tourists fall victim to sex trafficking in Papua New Guinea (PNG). PNG is also used as a common transit point to aid in exploiting individuals from other countries.

What is Happening in Papua New Guinea?

The U.S. Department of State placed PNG on a Tier Two Watch List. “The government of Papua New Guinea does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so,” according to the U.S. Department of State report. There are many challenges and attributes to consider when evaluating sex trafficking in Papua New Guinea. Although PNG lacks a lot of resources, the country has begun to improve in its elimination of sex trafficking.

As one of the World’s least developed countries, PNG faces many challenges with education, advocacy and law enforcement of sex trafficking. Furthermore, the country has not prioritized the incarceration of traffickers. According to the TIP 2021 report, PNG did not report any new investigations or prosecutions in 2021.

Since its Criminal Code Amendment in 2013, PNG has only prosecuted one individual that resulted in incarceration in November 2020. However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PNG has seen a decrease in all criminal investigations, with minimal energy spent on sex trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of State.

The Efforts

Although sex trafficking in PNG may look glum, the country is continuing to work toward the goal of elimination. Since the release of the 2020 Trafficking in Person (TIP) report, PNG has gone from Tier Three to a Tier Two Watch List. The main difference in these tiers is that as a Tier Three, it is stated there is no effort to eliminate trafficking.

PNG has also made slight efforts to broadcast and spread awareness to the public. On the country’s national day against human trafficking, “local authorities sponsored an article in their national newspaper to increase general awareness of trafficking,” according to the Tier Two Watch List.

In coordination with law enforcement agencies, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided aid for both international and domestic victims. In 2019, PNG launched a “safe bus” in the capital city of Port Moresby which expanded to Lae. The bus began as a result of sexual harassment and assault on public transportation. Since its implementation, it has kept women and children safe in transit to and from work and school.

There are many providers of aid internationally, including the U.N., IOM and the U.S. government. Within the TIP reports, the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons also provides Prioritized Recommendations. Most notably, the recommendations, among others, include “implementing existing standard operating procedures (SOPs), increasing protective services for victims of trafficking, instituting a policy framework, increasing awareness of and participating in the committee by civil society and protection stakeholders and acceding to the 2000 U.N. TIP Protocol.”

The Progress

As a Tier Two Watch List country, the elimination of sex trafficking in Papua New Guinea is slowly improving. However, a lot of work needs to be done to accomplish this. With “an acute lack of financial and human resources,” according to the U.S. Department of State, PNG struggles to make strides.

Although domestic attempts to eliminate sex trafficking may appear minimal, the country has shown great growth by improving on the TIP Tier list. International support such as aid from the U.S. and the U.N. is continuing to rise. The government has followed prioritized recommendationssuch as amending the criminal code in 2013.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally. It can be difficult to look past such daunting statistics. However, PNG is growing its resource pool and on the road to the elimination of sex trafficking. With the continued support of foreign aid, sex trafficking in Papua New Guinea could improve.

– Sierra Winch
Photo: Flickr

Facts About Child Labor in Algeria

Algeria — a country characterized by political instability — has made some strides to address the worst forms of child labor. However, according to the Department of Labor (DOL), “The government has not sufficiently prohibited the use of children in illicit activities or determined by national law or regulation the types of work that are hazardous for children to perform.” Keep reading to learn the top seven facts about child labor in Algeria.

7 Facts About Child Labor in Algeria

  1. Although the legal minimum age for work eligibility is 16, 6.7 percent of children in Algeria (ages 5 to 14) are currently working. This amounts to more than 413,000 working children.
  2. While there has been no comprehensive study that provides more insight into the scope of each sector of work, it is known that children in Algeria work on farms, usually harvesting olives; in the street, vending, collecting plastics and even begging. Others perform various services for businesses and workshops and do domestic work. However, the worst type of child labor is in the form of commercial sexual exploitation that often results in human trafficking and participation in drug smuggling.
  3. Granting children access to education is known to help reduce rates of child labor. Algeria offers free public schooling for anyone with a valid birth certificate and 92.3 percent of children attend school. However, the lack of teachers trained to help with students who have disabilities and the existing stigma keep many children with disabilities from attending school. Additionally, many migrant children do not have birth certificates making them ineligible. For these reasons, both of these populations are particularly vulnerable to child labor.
  4. Child labor is often associated with immigrant communities in Algeria. Migrant children who are subject to work are primarily from the sub-Saharan region of Africa and are most likely to be forced into sexual exploitation and domestic work. Additionally, migrants from Niger are known to bring children “rented” from smuggling networks along with them while begging in the streets.
  5. Fortunately, the Algerian government recognizes this as a major problem and has been working to end child labor within their borders. In 2016 the government began a campaign titled The National Commission for the Prevention of and Fight Against Child Labor, creating radio and television programs that spread awareness about the negative effects of child labor and working to bring that message into religious sermons. The initiative also offers assistance to families in need, in the hope that lessening their financial stress will reduce the likelihood of the children being sent to work. While this campaign is a step in the right direction, there is no evidence on how effective it has been, and the Bureau of International Labor Affairs considers it to be only a “moderate advancement” along the path to end child labor.
  6. The Bureau of International Labor states that in the fight to end child labor it is essential not only to create relevant policy but also to assign the issue to a centralized government body or authority in order to stay up to date on the issue and monitor the effectiveness of the policy. Algeria has successfully done this by delegating the issue to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare’s Labor Inspection Directorate. This has resulted in advancements such as the Ministry of Labor organizing training sessions for 136 judges on the legal framework for the protection of children.
  7. The government has made a difference through policy as well with the National Action Plan for the Prevention of and Fight Against Trafficking in Persons. While this policy is more focused on the specific issue of human trafficking, this inevitably intertwined with child labor and has resulted in 79 prosecuted child labor cases.

Madeline Lyons
Photo: Flickr

Female Victims of Sex Trafficking in India Get a Second ChanceMillions of women and children in India are victims of sex trafficking. The National Crimes Records Bureau states that a girl falls victim to sex trafficking every eight minutes in India. Many are told that they will be assisted in finding a job or even a potential marriage to alleviate them of their poverty, making them trusting of traffickers and easier targets for prostitution.

In 2014, police in India recorded 2,604 sex trafficking cases, but more than three-quarters of the traffickers accused went unpunished. The Better India states that “less than 50 child prostitution cases in a year lead to successful convictions on average.” Current laws are not effective enough in preventing human trafficking in India.

The Dutch anti-trafficking group Free a Girl created a new approach to the sex trafficking issue in India, called The School for Justice. It launched in April of this year with 19 women who were victims of sex trafficking in India. Not only are these women training to be lawyers but they are also gaining empowerment in a community in which they are ostracized.

The program financially and emotionally supports the process. It enrolls them into a university so that they can receive a bachelor’s degree in law. The rescued girls live in a house together while receiving food and an education to prepare them for a future career. For each student in The School for Justice program, it costs $3,400 per year which is covered by donors for the first two years.

Having women who were once trafficked as prostitutes become members of India’s legal system is a huge step for the country. Not only are females that are trafficked not welcome back with their families, they are also more likely to be arrested. These women are not receiving the help that they need once they escape sex trafficking in India.

The main goal of The School for Justice is to provide the help and resources needed to create prosecutors out of the victims of trafficking in India. This could be a small change that eventually leads to holding traffickers accountable for their actions and keeping women and children out of trafficking. Per The Better India, “not only will these brave women finally be able to chart a course of their own life but they will also be saving the lives of others like themselves in the process.”

Mackenzie Fielder
Photo: Flickr

Victims of Trafficking
In addition to their hardships as victims of trafficking, Bangladeshi girls sold to India used to endure living in shelters for prolonged periods of time while waiting for travel permits back to their home country. The Bangladesh High Commission has recently been able to accelerate the repatriation process.

Human trafficking has been a major concern in Bangladesh for many years. Prof. Zakir Hossein from the University of Chittagong summarizes the key issues contributing to trafficking as “poverty, social exclusion, gender-based discrimination, widespread illiteracy, lack of awareness and poor governance.”

According to a 2010 report by the Protection Project, between 10,000 and 20,000 girls and women become victims of trafficking to India, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates annually, in addition to internal trafficking. The report notes that traffickers also target boys and men.

The Indian state of West Bengal is the hub of human trafficking in India. It shares a long, mostly unfenced border with Bangladesh, which facilitates cross-border trafficking. Many girls tell similar stories: traffickers take advantage of their desperate economic situation and lure them with jobs in India. Once they cross the border, they are sold into modern-day slavery—mostly brothels, but also domestic, farming or textile work.

But, even if rescued, the girl’s hardships do not end there; the girls wait in shelters for their travel permits back home, which is a long and complicated bureaucratic process.

Even after founding an inter-country task force to organize repatriations, many girls stayed in shelters for two to three years. Shiny Padiyara, the superintendent of a shelter operated by Rescue Foundation, describes how waiting affected the girls: “They would get aggressive and in 2015, some girls broke a lot of things and a few ran away,” she said.

As the Thomas Reuters Foundation reports, the Bangladesh High Commission has become increasingly aware of the issue. The commission recently worked on accelerating the repatriation of Bangladeshi girls and women. Mosharaf Hossein, head of the consular section of the commission, cites that he “found girls and also boys from Bangladesh who were suffering a lot, waiting for long [times] to return home, because of our slow investigation,” including girls who had stayed in a government shelter for seven years.

The commission has been able to cut waiting periods significantly to about two to four weeks. In the past six months, over 200 victims of trafficking returned to Bangladesh—the highest number of repatriations in this time span. These girls finally reunited with their families, getting the chance to heal from their traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives.

Lena Riebl

Photo: Flickr

Human Trafficking
Anuradha Koirala was motivated by pain. The 67-year-old Nepali native was just chosen to receive the Padma Shri, one of India’s most prestigious service awards, for her role in fighting human trafficking and freeing thousands of girls from the illicit sex trade. She was instrumental in rescuing more than 12,000 sex trafficking victims, and her work saved more than 45,000 more from a similar fate. Koirala said it was the “unbearable pain of victims” that motivated her in this mission.

During a phone interview, Koirala said, “When I see their pain — their mental pain as well as physical pain — it is so troubling that I cannot turn myself away. This gives me strength to fight and root this crime out.”

A Life Built on Service

Koirala’s life has been devoted to service. In her early years, Anuradha Koirala found her inspiration in the work of Mother Teresa. Educated at St. Joseph Convent School in India, she dedicated more than 20 years of her life toward teaching children. Still, she felt a deeper calling. Nepal was a hotbed for sexual slavery, and Koirala decided to be a part of the force fighting human trafficking.

In 1993, Koirala left her teaching career and founded Maiti Nepal to support victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking. She recognized that these victims are often stigmatized by their families and communities, and her priority was to set up a sanctuary home.

A Home for All Women

The word Maiti refers to the mother’s family. The word has sentimental value for Nepali women, meaning that they belong to their husbands forever. Unfortunately, victims of sex trafficking often find themselves homeless and unable to be married. Maiti Nepal changes that by providing a haven, a home, to these women and girls. Regardless of whether they are married or not, Maiti Nepal is a sanctuary for the exploited and violated.

Koirala’s Legacy

Under Koirala’s leadership, Maiti Nepal currently consists of 14 homes actively fighting human trafficking by focusing on prevention, counseling and training for girls at high risk. The girls receive training in domestic skills and are provided opportunities to participate in women’s empowerment programs. Maiti Nepal also has two hospices and a school that educates approximately 1,000 children.

Maiti Nepal also focuses on awareness campaigns that seek public support against trafficking of children and women, provide legal support to victims and work with police to rescue victims and apprehend traffickers.

India’s Padma Shri honor is the most recent in a long line of achievements for Koirala. Since she began her cause, she has been the recipient of 38 national and international awards for her efforts toward fighting human trafficking.

Gisele Dunn

Photo: Flickr

trafficking in thailand
In a strange case, nine surrogate babies were found in “suspicious circumstances” in a Bangkok condo, raising suspicion over possible human trafficking in Thailand. While there were no birth certificates for the children, they were all under good health and had a personal nanny when they were found. Nevertheless, the suspicious story has only gained traction as the ministry continues to investigate the case.

The father, an alleged “Japanese businessman” who wishes to remain nameless, is under primary investigation for possible plans to traffick the babies, as well as to determine if the surrogacy of the babies — who, lawyers claim, all have the same mother — was illegal. Nevertheless, the man’s lawyer remains adamant that he loves his children and even bought properties, bonds and insurance under their names.

This most recent report comes just days after allegations were made that an Australian couple abandoned their Down syndrome surrogate baby while taking home his perfectly healthy twin sister. Thailand, which has been under recent attack as the “go-to” place for commercial (illegal) surrogacy due to strict laws being enacted in neighboring countries, may now hold a new law prohibiting the act in lieu of recent events.

Prohibiting commercial surrogacy, the law would provide punishment for violators, including up to 10 years in prison and fines for up to 200,000 baht (roughly $6,200.) While many countries have already tightened their laws regarding surrogacy, most often with an implanted embryo from unbiological parents, other countries such as Thailand, Ukraine and India have become almost tourist destinations for parents looking for low-cost surrogate mothers.

While Thailand is a growing country, more than 13 percent of its population is still living below the poverty line. Due to lack of strict legislation, human trafficking is a growing problem in the country. And while the unemployment rate is still less than 2 percent of the population, the percentage of those living in poverty — and being forced into human trafficking — is only continuing to increase.

The nannies and surrogate mother found with the nine babies have all been questioned, and the babies have been taken to a state-run nursing home in Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district. Under the Child Protection Act, the babies will be taken care of by the ministry until their families or guardians have been found. As the investigation continues, possibilities of human trafficking and commercial surrogacy could result in legal action toward any guilty parties.

– Nick Magnanti

Sources: World Vision, World Bank, The Star, UCA News, Japan Times
Photo: Radionz

It is an unfortunate reality that children around the world have to endure violence every day. Violence not only physically harms children but it also mentally harms them. Children have the right to be protected against violence, and ending violence against children is possible.

UNICEF is part of a global movement to end violence against children called #ENDviolence.

Children with disabilities, who are of ethnic minorities, who are orphaned and a part of other marginalized groups are often more vulnerable to violence. Younger children are more at risk with certain types of violence and it begins to change as they get older. Child refugees, abandoned migrant children and displaced children are also more at risk of violence.

Children often endure violence by people they know like their parents, other relatives, teachers, caretakers, employers and law enforcers.

There are different forms of violence that children often go through which consist of bullying, sexual assault, armed violence, acid labor, trafficking, gender- based violence, cyber- bullying, gang violence, child marriage and physically and emotionally violent child discipline.

Here are a few facts about violence:
1. 41 percent of homicides occur among 10 to 29- year olds each year.
2. Slavery, prostitution, trafficking, child labor and dangerous work are all different kinds of violence.
3. In 2012 there were at least 3,600 attacks on students, teachers and schools.
4. Insults, rejection, isolation, threats and emotional indifference are all acts of violence that mentally harm children.
5. Nearly half of 15 to 19- year olds think it is justified that a husband beat his wife under certain circumstances.
6. 20 percent of women and 5-10 percent of men report of being sexually abused as a child.

UNICEF created the hashtag #ENDviolence on Twitter and Instagram to help inform its users of the violence going on globally. Be a part of the act and get involved through UNICEF’s website, Twitter and Instagram.

— Priscilla Rodarte

Photo: Global Violence Online