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2013-04-16

EUROPE/ITALY - In the world there are between 5 and 8 million child workers: World Day against Child Slavery

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - As every year, the World Day against Child Slavery is celebrated on April 16 . It was established in 1995, after the killing of a 12-year-old Pakistani boy who had complained of harassment since the age of 4, when his father sold him to pay off a debt. The phenomenon of child laborers, slaves, exploited or sold is common in many countries of the South but also in Europe, where thousands of children are forced to beg or prostitute themselves. There are about 5/8 million child victims. In 27 European countries, according to the latest Eurostat figures, released by the head of Save The Children, between 2008 and 2010, 23,632 victims of trafficking were identified, although there are many more, and are often used to commit crimes. In the UK, children exploited for begging are often seen in one area and moved to other. In Spain they are forced into prostitution. In addition to sexual exploitation, the conditions under which these children work are just as serious and involve risks to their physical and emotional health. Example of these situations are the young exploited in the coal mines in Brazil, those who break stones in Benin, those used for the extraction of diamonds in Sierra Leone or coltan in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but also of child soldiers in countries in conflict, those sexually exploited, or those that are bought for domestic work. In Haiti, more than 300,000 of them, poor and from rural areas, are sold by their families with the hope that they can get a better life, but actually end up differently. In Cambodia, many farmers sell them to pay debts but the victims are re-sold as laborers or to be sexually exploited. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 16/04/2013)

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