Children trafficked have a different profile to adult victims.

The profile of children trafficked is different to the one of adult victims, in terms of recruitment, gender, means of control and other aspects of the trafficking process.

For example, the extent of family involvement in the trafficking of children is up to four times higher than in cases of adult trafficking. A higher percentage of identified children are trafficked sexual exploitation than for forced labour. Children who are victims of labour exploitation are most commonly forced to beg, undertake domestic work or work in the hospitality sector.

Age of victims

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The highest percentage of female victims can be found in the 18-20 age group, while the highest percentage of male victims can be found in higher age groups.

Age of victims (IOM only)

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The average age for IOM registered victims of trafficking is 27, and half of all victims are aged between 19 and 33. There is a slight spike in age at 0 and 1 years of age- this is because of the number of children who are born into trafficking.

Identified children who are victims of human trafficking

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Approximately one fifth of all identified victims are children. IOM and Polaris assist a significant caseload of child victims each year.

Means of control for adult and child victims as a proportion of cases (where specified)

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Displayed here is the proportion of each means of control for cases of adult and child victims of trafficking. It is possible for each victim to have been subject to multiple means of control, however it is not necessary under the Palermo protocol for means of control to be proven for a child to be considered a victim. Therefore, there are generally fewer means of control as a proportion of child cases recorded except for sexual abuse and use of psychoactive substances.

Means of control for adult and child victims as a proportion of total instances reported (where specified)

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This graph represents the proportion of instances of means by which victims are controlled. It is notable that there are proportionately more instances of children controlled by traffickers more through physical and psychological means, including deception and the use of psychoactive substances. Adults are controlled more through exploitative labour practices such as withholding of wages, debt bondage and excessive working hours.

Children's age at entry into trafficking

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A third of all identified children enter into the trafficking process while they are aged 15 to 17.

Age and work sector of victims of labour exploitation

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There are some similarities between the work sectors adults and children are trafficked into, for example domestic work and hospitality. While adults are trafficked more into agriculture and manufacturing, children are more often trafficked into begging, peddling and illicit activities. Traffickers will send children out to beg or sell things on the street, and even carry out theft and other crimes.

Education level of children

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Almost half of identified child victims of trafficking have completed primary or elementary education. Almost a quarter have attended middle school, while only a few (2%) completed secondary school. Over 10 per cent have no education at all.

Age of identified girls and boys

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Over fifty percent of identified girl victims are aged between 15 and 17, whereas almost fifty percent of trafficked boys are under 11 years of age.

Recruiter relationship adults and children

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There are marked differences in the relationships adult victims and child victims have with the person who recruited them. Almost half of adults were recruited either by an acquaintance or an intimate partner, whereas over two thirds of children were recruited by a family member or relative. Understanding how victims of trafficking are recruited by traffickers is key to prevention effort by counter-trafficking actors.

Duration of trafficking for adults and children

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The average duration of trafficking for adult victims is close to 2 years years, and the average length of trafficking for child victims is slightly higher at 2.2 years.