6 Feb 2010

Global child trafficking and abuse worsening - Unicef

5:01 pm on 6 February 2010

Reports of child trafficking and child sexual abuse in Haiti have been underscored by a new United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) report that says the problem is getting worse globally.

Unicef's latest Humanitarian Action Report, released on Friday, details the dismal plight of children in 28 countries suffering humanitarian crises.

The regional director for Unicef in South Asia, Daniel Toole, is reported by the ABC as saying that the report points to child trafficking and endemic sexual abuse of women and children wherever there is conflict and the breakdown of society.

"Sexual violence against women and children is particularly widespread in situations of emergencies," he says.

"Society and the glue that holds society starts to break down. People move, the communities are broken apart, families are broken apart and so the normal social mores that protect children, the normal community support functions also start to disappear."

The 28 countries listed as being in crisis are in in Africa, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Latin America and Central Europe.

Unicef also says a billion people went hungry last year - an increase of 100 million on the previous year, with countries in South Asia hit particularly hard.