Child exploitation also has a migrant face

Child exploitation is a term that ranges from forced labour of children and adolescents, to sexual exploitation and recruitment of child soldiers or domestic slavery. All of them, traumatic experiences that impact their healthy development.
To the challenge of the fight against child exploitation in our country, we must add the context of the migratory phenomenon in Chile. It is a daily image in the Tarapacá Region of the arrival of many migrant children, embraced by their stuffed animals, the only belongings with which they have made the exodus from their countries of origin in search of better life opportunities. The reasons for such trips are diverse, many are based on the economic inequality experienced by our region, violent conflicts, social crises and also climate changes will force much more population to migrate.
Faced with this reality, migrant children and their need for protection against all types of exploitation are often not visible in the public debate. It should be recalled that, in the area of migrant children, there are particularly serious circumstances that make them even more vulnerable to forced labour and sexual exploitation, especially in their transit to their places of destination. Many of them do not even have identity documents, and have dropped out of school months before starting their travels.
Migration can be a wonderful experience for millions of children, offering safer lives. It must be a commitment of the State and society as a whole to protect migrant children, and to build a place where children, regardless of their nationality, can develop safely and happily.

The content expressed in this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.

Original source in Spanish

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