January 12, 2005

More on the "tsunami generation" of exploited children

Sri Lanka Probes Alleged Child Trafficking

Wed Jan 12, 1:53 PM ET
By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer

BATAPOLA, Sri Lanka - Police have arrested a 63-year-old Sri Lankan man on charges of trying to sell his two young granddaughters after their home was destroyed and their mother killed by the Asian tsunami — a case that highlights the vulnerability of children in the wake of the disaster.

The United Nations (news - web sites) and international aid agencies have expressed concern that child traffickers are exploiting the chaos in countries hit hardest by the tsunami, and trying to abduct and then sell orphans into forced labor or the sex trade.

"There is definitely a danger. The opportunity is there. The situation will attract (traffickers)," said Udaya de Silva, a police inspector in charge of crimes against women and children in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.


UNICEF said the disaster's aftermath could create a double tragedy — increasing the likelihood that people who have lost everything will be tempted to sell off children who are an economic burden.

"There is a clear danger that as time goes by, people will become more desperate," said Sajeeva Samaranayake, a UNICEF program officer for child protection. "They will have other needs."


Posted by Kyer at January 12, 2005 11:52 PM