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Saturday, 8 January, 2005

UNICEF Confirms Tsunami Child Trafficking Case

The United Nations Children's Fund confirmed a case in Indonesia of trafficking in children orphaned or separated from parents by the Indian Ocean tsunami as ravaged countries were warned to be on high alert for kidnappers. Reports of children being taken away surfaced soon after the killer waves swamped 13 nations, killing more than 153,000 people and leaving more than a million people injured and homeless. But the UNICEF report is the first confirmed case.<>

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) also said Friday that an Indonesian aid agency had reported seven cases of child-trafficking since the Dec. 26 undersea earthquake that sent giant waves crashing ashore across Asia and East Africa. Birgithe Lund-Henriksen, chief of the UNICEF Indonesia child protection unit, said UNICEF and Indonesian police had confirmed that a 4-year-old boy was taken out of Banda Aceh, the capital of devastated Aceh province, by a couple claiming to be his parents.

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