Article 35 of the UNCRC makes it clear that abducting, selling or trafficking children or young people is always wrong. It exists to protect children and young people at risk of any of them.
Other articles in the UNCRC cover various forms of all three of these things, but may not cover every instance of each. Article 35 makes it clear that all should never happen, and all are violations of a child or young person’s rights.
A child is abducted when these two things are true:
- they’ve been removed from the place where they legally live or are being kept somewhere and unable to return there.
- the people who’ve done this haven’t been authorised to do so or have broken the law by doing it.
Reunite International assist and advise both in cases of international abduction, but also help parents who fear their children may be abducted. The website also has a list of family lawyers who specialise in child abduction and an abduction prevention guide.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office also has information available online.
More in the Rights questions and answers section
General Comment on unaccompanied and separated children
The Committee on the Rights of the Child has produced many General Comments that help people understand how the UNCRC works in practice. General Comment 6 discusses the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin.