A new kind of trafficking: child beggars in Asia. Scared, hungry, enslaved

World Work. 1998:(26):17-9.


PIP: Throughout Asia's Mekong region, there has been a huge increase in the number of Cambodian children caught begging illegally in Bangkok since 1997. Many of these children are victims of trafficking, and some may have been intentionally disfigured to improve their chances of earning as much as $20/day for their agents, who give them in return barely enough food to survive. This situation is a direct result of the deplorable socioeconomic conditions in Cambodia, and if the exploited children eventually escape their agents, they may even become traffickers themselves. Most trafficked children are sold or given up by their parents who believe false promises of jobs and money. In response, the International Labor Organization has launched a campaign to combat trafficking in children for prostitution or other intolerable forms of child labor in the region. The strategy is to provide programs of direct preventive and curative assistance; to conduct advocacy and information campaigns; and to build institutional capacity in the fields of legislation, networking, and the collection of data and information. To succeed, this multinational effort must be joined by governments and nongovernmental organizations. Recent delegates to the ILO Conference called for a new Convention that would immediately penalize the worst forms of child labor as a step in reaching the ultimate goal of abolishing child labor.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Asia
  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Cambodia
  • Child Abuse*
  • Child*
  • Crime
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Population
  • Population Characteristics
  • Social Problems*
  • Thailand