Globally, migration statistics indicate rising numbers of people who have for various reasons left their local community. Of these, a considerable proportion is below the age of 18 and often engaged in some kind of work. Yet, the phenomenon of children working beyond their localities receives little special attention in migration studies or child labour studies. It is, however, increasingly addressed under the label of human trafficking. This article critically discusses the notion of human trafficking in relation to childhood and combines this with an analysis of a set of recent studies on Lao children working in Thailand. Based on this, the article concludes with some suggestions to come to a greater understanding of, and more relevant interventions for, children working beyond their localities. Copyright