Participants at the Interpol Global Conference on Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants, which concluded in Doha, have called upon the member-states to enforce stricter norms and procedures to put an end to trafficking and exploitation of children.
They also highlighted the necessity of intensified co-operation at different levels between both sending countries (from where children are taken away by traffickers) and final destinations to effectively curb the illegal practices.
In a session dedicated wholly to the critical issue of trafficking in children, some of the participants recalled the initiatives taken in recent years in their respective regions to effectively deal with the perpetrators of such crimes and how they succeeded in saving many children from illegal trafficking.
While calling for the introduction of round the clock children helplines at different levels, some of the speakers at the two-day conference said such initiatives along with ensuring better education, health and other useful opportunities would go a long way in checking the trafficking in minors in a big way.
One of them said more than 75 children in the age group 5-16 were rescued by authorities in the West African region where police arrested no less than 25 people who were involved in their trafficking. Similarly, Police in Cote d Ivoire saved 76 minors who had been trafficked from the Western African countries to work in illegal gold mines. Eight traffickers were sentenced there.
Italian police official Francesca Bochino explained how it is possible to have a permanent partnerships with news channels and children helplines, while recalling the steps initiated in some of the European countries in recent years.
More than two speakers reiterated that women and children are lured in many developing countries with promises of `decent' employment and forced into sexual slavery. In many cases victims are held in slavery conditions in a variety of jobs, they said, while recalling that police investigations found they are used in such areas as construction, domestic servitude and some other labour intensive works.
Besides Bochino, Interpol director (Combating organised trafficking and emerging crimes) Paul Stanfield, Rebecca Surtees of Nexus Institute, Catelene Passchier (The Netherlands), Heleme Paillard (Interpol) and M Dave Rivard also spoke in the session.
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