Human trafficking is an aggravating problem, especially with the increase in wars around the globe. The most vulnerable group are the children, in fact, over 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to face this issue head on due to immensity of its implications. They believe that both the traffickers and the clientele should be prosecuted due to their direct contribution in the violation of human rights. A contentious issue on the floor was the ability of NGOs to address the problem at the root level as delegates were polarized on whether or not they had the funds to carry out the actions necessary. The delegate of Congo said, “NGOs should be involved and the assets that are seized from child trafficking rings should be put into an anti-trafficking fund. Congo believes in a comprehensive six-point solution including things such as border control and sex education”. Regarding the issue of education, the delegates believe that it would lead to children entering the legal labor force. Honduras expressed the belief that violence, especially the proliferation of firearms were a threat to children.
UNHRC believes that the issue of child trafficking is mainly an economic one and recognizes the need to provide developing countries financial aid to tackle child trafficking because they are the most vulnerable to such practices. The bloc spearheaded by Brazil believe in the provision of rehabilitation services and taking long term preventive measures. The developed countries formed a separate pack because they do not properly understand the causes as this problem mainly concerns their developing counterparts. They said that they were communicating with smaller countries to fund NGOs and trust funds.
The Dais mentioned to CNN that they would like the committee to think about long-term solutions and not just restrict the debate to funding. They expressed their hope that the countries would share data regarding child trafficking to form a stronger network to combat it. In terms of short term solutions, they vehemently believed that emerging crises and wars, both of which aggravate the problem of child trafficking, should be addressed specifically due to the prevalence of such situations worldwide.
The crisis that surfaced in the committee was regarding a Syrian boy of 12 years who was forced to flee the country and had his father killed in the effort. Him and his mothered managed to reach Turkey but due to their lack of resources she sold him to a sweatshop and he had no option for education. This caused the impassioned delegates to talk about the psychological-depression, PTSD- and physical trauma that human trafficking causes and the need to help susceptible children attain medical and educational facilities. They believed firmly that women should not have the option of selling their children to make ends meet. They believed awareness as to the impacts of human trafficking would, in the long run, deter people from being exploited into selling their children. Some delegates pointed out that the fact that the child had no option of education means that NGOs or the government could not reach the vulnerable groups, which prompted them to demand further research to discover human trafficking rings and sweatshops.
The delegates of UNHRC expressed a strong desire for a solution that recognizes the unique situation of countries where child trafficking occur and tailor any solutions to best suit each country.