The types of exploitation of children are not reducible to a common denominator; they differ in severity and in significance. The most repulsive include the sweat-shop system, bondservice, maids-of-all-work in a situation of virtual bondage, and prostitution. Children are highly exploitable, and in certain circumstances their vulnerability is manipulated to their lasting disadvantage. Children are sold into slavery, trained to be criminals, used for human organ transplants, forced into prostitution, abandoned, used for force labour, forced to work in inhuman and dangerous conditions and enlisted into armies.
Materialism and unabashed consumerism take an additional toll where spiritual values are neglected. Much of the exploitation of children arises precisely because material values have overtaken those which place a premium on human life and development. Shamefully, the human rights of the child may be violated because the child is viewed as a factor of production, as an investment for economic returns, rather than as an entity vested with substantive rights and inherent dignity.