Human trafficking today in Eastern Europe includes the growing and highly illegal trade of children for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, and commercial sexual exploitation. Children of all ages, today, are grabbed off the streets, sold by desperate parents – sometimes for as little as $5, the cost of a meal. Even children in official state run care centres are routinely susceptible to exploitation in the adult video trade, with many girls leaving orphanages on their 16th birthday ending up working in the sex trade as they simply cannot afford any other roof over their heads. And once in, they can’t escape.
At ChildAid we wish to see the end of this awful trade, and are actively playing our part. Through talks we give about our work, we encourage communities here in Britain to look for the tell-tale signs for the brothels and work houses where some of these children end up; whilst in Eastern Europe we work through our partners to both educate the children and help those families who might become susceptible to traders as they become desperate for fuel to keep themselves warm, or for the money needed for the most basic medications. One of the most successful programmes we run however is fostering, which we do with state approval. Bringing children out of state care and into loving families is so much better for the child’s welfare, and somewhere that our local partners can visit and freely report back on each child’s development.