Addressing the specific needs of child victims of trafficking and exploitation.
The PROMISE Barnahus Network is working to strengthen the opportunities and means for coordination between authorities and actors, specifically in responding to trafficking cases and authorities and actors involved in responding to violence against children and ensuring child justice processes more generally. The project develops standards and guiding principles for national and transnational referral mechanisms incorporating a specific focus on child victims and incorporating a specialised and child-centred multidisciplinary response for child victims of trafficking, drawing inspiration from multidisciplinary and interagency services for child victims and witnesses of violence (Barnahus), in national and transnational mechanisms. Promoting integrated child protection systems is intrinsically linked to preventing and protecting children from violence.
This work supports the implementation of key elements of the EU strategies on trafficking, victim’s rights, and children’s rights with a specific aim of contributing to the implementation of provisions to ensure child-friendly justice and safe pathways to recovery and durable solutions set out in international and European legal frameworks.
Furthermore, this work promotes early identification, adequate assistance and protection, access to child-friendly justice, long-term assistance and social inclusion and durable solutions for children who are suspected of being trafficked (physical and online trafficking) by ensuring coordination of child protection and criminal justice proceedings in a child-centred, multidisciplinary manner.
A recent study commissioned by the CBSS concludes that throughout the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and Europe more widely, children are presently being trafficked for sexual exploitation and abuse, child or forced marriage and labour and criminal exploitation. Within these wider categories there may be a variety of forms of abuse and exploitation. Forced marriages may be for domestic servitude or to avoid legislation prohibiting marriage under 18. Labour exploitation may also be hidden within what appear to be family-run restaurants or small businesses or by the involvement of job agencies. Children involved in street crime and begging may be controlled by criminal gangs and have been moved from country to country for criminal exploitation. It could also be the case that one child was being exploited for more than one purpose; for example, as a beggar and in sexual exploitation or forced prostitution. Across these categories, children are exposed to different forms of violence, abuse and exploitation, as defined in the UNCRC article 19.
There is furthermore emerging evidence that social and economic consequences of COVID-19 are likely to expose more people, including children, to the risk of trafficking, including by worsening the existing stark inequalities of vulnerable children.
The PROMISE Barnahus Network via the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Children at Risk (Lead partner)
“PROMISE TRM” is co-funded by the European Union.
18 April 2022 – 17 April 2024
Olivia Lind Haldorsson, Senior Adviser and Head of the CBSS Children at Risk Unit
Phone: +46 73 056 45 92