SRSG on Violence against Children joins ICAT in calling on Governments to reach every victim of trafficking, leaving no one behind

New York, 30 July 2023 - On the occasion of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations on Violence against Children, Najat Maalla M’jid, calls on all stakeholders to come together to protect all children by reducing their vulnerabilities and by increasing the risks to traffickers. 

Child trafficking is one of the worst forms of violence against children, affecting an alarming number of children worldwide. Global estimates show that children account for 35% of all identified victims of trafficking.

Despite all the work that has been undertaken over the last two decades, trafficking in children continues to be a high-profit, low-risk crime, based upon the principles of supply and demand. Children are treated like commodities that are bought, sold, traded and used over and over again

Trafficking in children generates an alarming 39 billion USD in revenue annually at the expense of millions of innocents. 

The massive number of children who are vulnerable or displaced as a result of poverty, the climate crisis, conflict, food insecurity, political instability and widespread violence - combined with increased organized criminal activity - makes today’s call even more urgent. 

Impunity, lack of access to justice, lack of cross-border cooperation and increased demand for child sexual exploitation, child labour, illegal adoption, and enrolment of children in armed and criminal groups, call for enhanced investment in strong child-  and gender- sensitive protection systems.

Less than 7 years remain to keep our promise to end all forms of violence against children including trafficking by 2030. 

Accelerated and reinvigorated action is needed to effectively tackle this crime

Our approach to combating child trafficking needs to be revisited, by both  discouraging demand and addressing children’s vulnerabilities to effectively disrupt the “business model” of trafficking. 

And most importantly, children need to be at the center of all our actions and involved in designing measures to tackle trafficking.


Read the Joint Statement of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 2023