International standards

Issues > Trafficking > International standards

The prohibition of trafficking in children is expressed in article 35 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in other international standards.  Articles 32 and 34 prohibit the exploitation of children for work or sexual exploitation. 

The preamble of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography highlights the problem of trafficking.  The protocol also prohibits any transaction of a child from one person to another for the purpose of child labour, sexual exploitation or transfer of organs of children.  Innocenti Research Centre has, on behalf of UNICEF, developed a Handbook on the Optional Protocol

The International Labour Organization includes trafficking of children in the definition of “worst forms of child labour” in ILO Convention 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour.

States have agreed forms of criminalisation of trafficking of children in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, also referred to as the “Palermo Protocol”.