Prof. Aptel Examines "Child Slaves and Child Brides"

Journal of International Criminal Justice

Published by Oxford Journals
International Criminal Justice
Child slavery exists in diverse modern forms, including child trafficking, children recruited or used in hostilities (child soldiers), sexual slavery, children in bonded labour, and also child victims of early and forced marriages. The common thread running through these different forms of slavery affecting children is that they leave the victims without protection, exposed and subjected to violence, abuse, and threats, on a repeated and continuing basis. This article argues that the use of specific labels for each form of abuse rather than their systematic qualification as child slavery has diluted the understanding of the multifaceted impact of slavery on children and has resulted in a fragmentation of efforts towards fighting this scourge in all its various manifestations. It proposes measures to foster the fight against child slavery, including increased coordination among various actors, prosecution of crimes of enslavement, notably of child forced marriage, as crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, and the use of cumulative charging to address all facets of child slavery.