Rob Waterlander
6 min readApr 21, 2018

Prevention of child-trafficking is not rocket science!
“Why does it continue?”
By Rob Waterlander

“Nine years ago a petite, fragile 12 year old girl crossed my path at an international airport and changed my life. She is the reason I started and speak on behalf of her and other children who are transported around the globe by traffickers who take advantage of the opportunities airline Unaccompanied Minor (UM) services offer these thugs.”

‘’We humans launch rockets to the moon; we kill other people by using drones 1000’s of miles away; we build robots; we spend billions on weapons; NSA and others tap people wherever; etc., etc.
Yet closing loopholes in airline “Unaccompanied Minors” (UM) services preventing children from being trafficked seems too much to ask!”

*Why are airlines, States, IATA, UN and EU deaf to ChildrenOnTour’s suggestions regarding rules and procedures for the handling of UMs which would prevent these children from being a child-trafficker’s merchandise, while our suggestions are easy to implement?
*Why did the EU anti-trafficking coordinator promise us in person at Europol headquarters November 21 2014, but has not delivered?
*Why do people like Mr L.W. (Public Prosecution Department NL) and Mr M.M. (Kmar NL) ignore Children On Tour’s cry for help and remain silent? (Note September 20 2018: last names deleted after urgent request in email response sent by justice dept staff, 9 (!!!!) months after ChildrenOnTour’s email. No apologies at all, a slow, ineffective and unprofessional justice department. It seems they only like to be mentioned when it is good news about staffmembers. Truth hurts!)
*Why did staff of anti-terrorism department of Justice & Security (NL) visit me at home and sharing that their colleagues had done nothing with my information one year later?
*Why is IATA advertising the Palermo protocol, yet hardly any initiative has been implemented by an airline since signing in 2000? That’s a whopping 20 years ago!
*Why did Europol’s Executive Director Rob Wainwright promise to help ChildrenOnTour, and walked the talk? Kudos to him and his staff.
*Why is South Africa choosing a different approach, yet all other countries lack care and action? South Africa is setting the standard higher with their rules! (see link)
*Why did BA (British Airways) discontinue their UM services? Is money the priority or do they care about children? You guess!
*Why is airport marketing about fighting child-trafficking yet they do not ask airlines to close the loopholes in airline rules that allow traffickers to fly their child victims as unaccompanied minors, transporting their product to pedophiles globally?
*Why don’t nations further develop International criminal law further and penalize the (unintentional) facilitation of child-trafficking, thereby spurring airlines into action.

Blog, article and interview!
-Please read a Law blog as well as our article to see what needs to be in place to prevent a UM (5-15 yrs) from being trafficked! Or listen to the interview!

How to prevent unaccompanied minors from being trafficked:
- The complete UM process can be monitored by designing a simple database app for a tablet (to be used all over the world by staff involved) to include all details, photos, ID/passport, UBC (Unabridged Birth Certificate) and/or municipal records of those involved: child, person(s) who booked/paid for the child’s ticket, the person dropping off the child at departure, and the person picking up the child on arrival.
- The process is even better improved when an airline/airport/customs starts using a Document Database service (app available for smartphone and tablet) for checking the validity of original documents for 100’s of countries (passports, ID cards, driving licenses, residence documents and more) when dropping off and picking up the child.
It then becomes nearly impossible for child-traffickers abusing the airline UM services.
All information relating to who viewed which document and when can be provided as management information.

Why is this service not in use yet?

The topic is more important than ever since, for example, the Dutch are planning to have civilians checking passports instead of the government officials who have been doing this work for as long as I’ve known.

Why can’t other countries do like South Africa?

Let us have a look at South Africa: What are their procedures when a child is flying as a UM with an airline? The UM is definitely getting a better protection than a UM in most other countries.

Even though the process is still not perfect, the stricter rules are more helpful in preventing child-traffickers from moving their commodity around the globe.

Some things are not clear to us about the South Africa situation, however. For example who is the handler, who is handing over the child to the person picking up the minor at the destination. Though overall, kudos to the South African government for the way they deal with children using Unaccompanied Minor airline services.

In South Africa, unaccompanied minors have to produce:

A valid passport + Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) or equivalent

Document + Parental Consent Affidavit + letter from the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic containing such person’s residential and work addresses and full contact details in the Republic + a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic.

How is it South Africa is applying these simple effective procedures, yet all these so called sophisticated 1st-world countries can’t?

What year will Airlines, States, UN, EU and IATA start preventing children flying as unaccompanied minors from being trafficked?

No one is holding airlines responsible for the child-trafficking caused by the loopholes in the procedures of their Unaccompanied Minor services.

The day when a child of airline, Justice & Security, IATA, EU or UN staff is in the hands of traffickers selling the child to those who keep using the little body over and over again until she or he breaks down, the #ignorance and #bureaucracy of these orgs and their staff will change #righthererightnow and #action taken immediately to get the child safe instead of doing a job with endless talks at conferences and fundraisers.

Less Talk - More action!

Rob Waterlander

The Pain Manager • Law of Fear teacher • Childtrade prevention specialist