their future is in our hands

vietnam child in boatA massive human rights violation is going largely unnoticed around the world right now; the illegal trade in children and young people for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC).

Human trafficking is the second largest crime (Belser, 2005) and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world (UNGIFT, 2008). With an estimated 1.8 million children entering the global sex trade each year, many of these children and young people are believed to be victims of trafficking. Human trafficking exists in every region and country the world over; from the poorest to the richest (UNICEF UK, 2003). Due to the underground dealings of the human trafficking network, the real total is expected to far exceed the 1.8 million figure.

In Australia this month, Child Wise has partnered with The Body Shop to launch the Stop the Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign.

The campaign will run in over 83 The Body Shop Stores around Australia and aims to engage the local community to take action against the sex trafficking of children for commercial gain. You can participate in The Body Shop and Child Wise Community Attitude Survey on Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People at all The Body Shop stores throughout the three-week campaign period. The survey aims to assess community attitudes and opinions on the issues related to Child Sex Slavery. The results will be shared with government, aid agencies and other NGOs to support and improve future campaigning on the issue.

Stop the Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People aims to raise the profile of this abhorrent crime, to raise much needed funds for vulnerable children at risk of, or who have been exploited by sex trafficking and to inspire those with decision-making power to effect change; to advocate on behalf of all vulnerable children to offer them better protection.

“We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” Nelson Mandela.

The Body Shop customers and Child Wise supporters can lend a helping hand to children and young people affected by or at risk of trafficking by purchasing the Limited Edition Soft Hands, Kind Heart hand cream at all Body Shop stores (RRP $13.95). All profits raised will be donated to Child Wise to help expand their counselling and outreach programs in Cambodia; to protect children who are victims of, or at risk of becoming victims of sexual slavery.

Figures suggest that anywhere between 2,000 and 15,000 children are trafficked to and from Cambodia annually. Specifically, Cambodia is a major destination country for children who are trafficked from Vietnam and China. Some children are as young as five-years-old. Furthermore, Cambodia has a large number of international Child Sex Tourists who visit the country to sexually exploit children.

Please purchase the Soft Hands, Kind Heart hand cream at your local The Body Shop store and sign up and join the Stop the Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign at and help us to protect the children and young people affected by trafficking.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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Good on you, Intrepid, for publicising this important issue. It’s easy to travel to these beautiful places and not realise the awful things that are happening to people there.'

I am a mother, and it brings tears into my eyes to imagine what those children are going through. I will definitely buy one of The Body Shop’s hand creams and hope that it will help towards protecting the children of our world.'

Excellent. I have spent time in India working on a “sex traffik” program and saw the devastation and emptiness left in the children’s eyes..
Thank you for making people more aware of what is going on with the children.

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