Child trafficking in the wake of disaster: investigations and paths for improvements in the frameworks surrounding disaster response and child trafficking

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Deharre, Pauline
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This thesis argues that a new comprehensive and preferably binding instrument is needed to protect children against trafficking and many other adverse effects of disasters. The issue at stake is that children are made more vulnerable to abuses of their rights during humanitarian crisis such as disasters. One frequent kind of abuse amid such crisis is child trafficking for the purpose of irregular adoption, economic or sexual exploitation, or other violent practices. Two frameworks are analysed throughout the thesis to assess the protection granted to children against those practices in post-disaster situations: the framework surrounding disaster response and the child’s rights framework (related to trafficking issues). In order to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the two frameworks, three different post-disaster situations will be analysed (the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2010 Haitian earthquake and the 2015 Nepalese Earthquake). Some shortcomings will be identified, mainly regarding the weak cooperation and coordination of the different actors involved in disaster response (and the too weak consideration for national actors which are, indeed, particularly important for an adequate and sustainable response). The lack of consideration for humanitarian crisis as disasters within the child trafficking framework, and generally within the child’s rights framework, will also be revealed. Paths for improvement at the international level will be suggested, including suggestions for the adoption of new (binding) comprehensive instruments. Keywords: Disaster Response, Child Trafficking, Children’s Rights, Disasters
Second semester University: University of Nottingham.
children rights, disaster relief, disasters, trafficking in young people