The proportion of children in human trafficking cases around the world has risen to more than one in five of all victims, a report aimed at raising awareness of the problem said recently.
"More than 1.2 million minors are still being sexually exploited in the world every year... and between 2003 and 2007 the proportion of minors in human trafficking cases has risen from 15% to 22%," the report said.
Worth around 32 billion dollars a year, human trafficking is the third most lucrative illegal trade after weapons and drugs, UN experts say.
Common in industrialised nations
The report by ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) said that half the money made from the global sex trade is made in industrialised nations.
"Along with pimps and clients, passport counterfeiters, corrupt officials, transport workers, paedophiles and other sex tourists are also involved," said ECPAT's Astrid Winckler.
Situated in the middle of Europe, Austria is a crossing point for many minors who are brought from eastern Europe or the Caucasus to work as prostitutes or escorts in private clubs in the West. – (Sapa, September 2009)
Focus on child sexual abuse