Call to fight trafficking of unborn

August 04, 2008

AUSTRALIA'S chief federal magistrate has called on the Federal Government to do more to stamp out the international trafficking of unborn children.

John Pascoe today said pregnant women were being duped and coerced into travelling across borders before having their children taken from them.

During a speech to the International Conference on Child Labour and Child Exploitation in Cairns, Mr Pascoe said international law had so far failed to deal effectively with the problem.

"Whatever the reason for the movement of the pregnant mother, one must have grave concerns that the child will not be born into a better life, but taken from the mother and forced into a life of exploitation which may also be quite short,'' Mr Pascoe said.

He said the trafficked children were often used as prostitutes and slaves, while others were sold on the international adoption black market.

Others were being used as child soldiers, while some were having their organs harvested, he said.

The practice was a blatant abuse of human rights but difficult to expose and eliminate, he said.

 Mr Pascoe said Australia could play a role in stamping out the practice, pointing to its 2005 ratification of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.

"This is an issue which goes to our own humanity,'' he said.

"In doing nothing when the rights of others, especially those who have no voice are debased, we debase ourselves.'',25197,24126546-26103,00.html


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