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Child Trafficking

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what measures the Department is taking to tackle (a) illegal trafficking of children, (b) exploitation of children through child labour and (c) the commercial sexual exploitation of children. [126861]

The trafficking of children is part of a wide range of issues relating to the migration of poor people to better their lives, and to their vulnerability to national and international smugglers and traffickers. Trafficking is an international problem requiring coordinated action. DFID's aim is to work to eliminate the poverty and social injustice that can lead to such abuse. Through our programmes to promote sustainable development and end poverty, DFID is helping to reduce the circumstances that give rise to this appalling trade, and which make women and children especially vulnerable. With other Government Departments, we are supporting the efforts of Governments and international agencies to strengthen social protection and justice in line with international treaties.For example, in south-east Asia, we are supporting the International Labour Organisation's work to reduce the trafficking of women and girls, many of whom would enter the sex industry, in Laos, Thailand, China (Yunnan), Cambodia and Vietnam. It involves a number of activities to raise awareness and prevent the trade. In the Balkans, we recently supported the International Organisation for Migration in training the various agencies dealing with the victims of trafficking, including police, social workers and the legal profession, in order to create and disseminate models of good practice.The Government are also committed to helping to eliminate child labour, particularly the worst forms such as child slavery and all forms of abusive or exploitative work. Many programmes supported by DFID help end these practices and provide assistance to such children and their families through improving livelihood opportunities, and access to education, health, justice and protection, and through our support to the promotion of socially responsible business such as the Ethical Trading Initiative.