Thousands of children orphaned or displaced by the Tsunami disaster are now at risk from human traffickers and paedophiles. The normal protective environment of parents, family, schools and communities are no longer in place and it is this that is putting children at risk. Indonesia alone has an estimated that 35,000 have lost one or both parents. Thailand and Indonesia are at particular risk as trafficking gangs are well established in both countries. The hardest hit region of Indonesia, Aceh, is close to the port city of Medan a well known transit point for trafficking of children and teenagers. Children are sold into forced labour and sexual slavery. However all children from all the affected countries are at a high risk from traffickers and paedophiles.
In the Indonesian province of Aceh some 20 children have already been snatched by traffickers. The Indonesian VP has put a ban on adoption and children under 16 will not be allowed to leave the Aceh without their parents.
UN agencies such as UNICEF and local and international NGOs have been asked to make child protection a priority as many children are wondering around lost and therefore vulnerable to exploitation. UNICEF and the government of Aceh have said that a programme to register every child is already underway.