Child trafficking is a public health problem and a serious violation of human rights. However, it is not a product of modern times; rather, it is a phenomenon observed across history. Nevertheless, it is not viewed as a social problem because it only affects a limited number of individuals, and these individuals are children. In fact, the social status of children and the importance attached to their difficulties, the social exclusion of problem children (the children of others), and the double negativity attributed to child victims might explain why this crime is not generally recognized as a problem that must be addressed. As a topic of high consensus and low intensity, its increasing presence in the political discourse and in child protection practices is not accompanied by the active involvement of the general population in its prevention or combat. In this chapter, we discuss the ambivalent presence of child trafficking in Portugal and within Europe, considering the official data on the phenomenon with regard to the aspects of crime and victimization.
Part of the book: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking