Forty-two Afghan children, allegedly victims of trafficking, returned last week to Kabul after being deported by Saudi Arabia. Afghan officials say the incident marks a disturbing trend in child smuggling where most victims are abducted and sold into slavery, prostitution, or used for organ harvesting in neighboring countries. Nadir Nadiri, spokesman for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said officials expect the repatriation of another 208 children in the coming days, according to Agence France Presse. Though trafficking statistics are difficult to pinpoint, the AIHRC estimates 332 children have been abducted in this year alone. Afghan Interior Minister Ali Jalali vowed to work closely with the AIHRC to better combat the problem. The Commission recently held a workshop focused on raising awareness about trafficking among border patrols and law enforcement officers.
Approximately 800,000-900,000 people are trafficked each year worldwide, according to the US State Department's 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report 2003.