Stockholm, January 2014

Case assessment and best interest determination: Special considerations and procedures in transnational cases of children exposed to exploitation, trafficking and children at risk.

In 2014 and 2015, the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Secretariat is organising five expert meetings in cooperation with partners in Europe and beyond. The aim of the meetings is to identify child rights standards and key agencies responsible for protecting children exposed to exploitation and trafficking in cross-border situations.

The outcomes will include a report and an online tool outlining relevant laws, policies and procedures as well as responses to issues faced by child welfare and migration authorities in relation to the return of child victims of exploitation and trafficking.

The first Expert Meeting was convened at the CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden, on 28-29 January 2014. It focused on the theme ‘Case assessment and best interest determination: Special considerations and procedures in transnational cases of children exposed to exploitation, trafficking, and children at risk’. The participants, a group of over forty experts, represented local and national authorities, UN Agencies, national and international NGOs, service providers and practitioners from the Nordic and Baltic States, representatives from Member States of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

The summary summarises, in synergy, the key outcomes and conclusions that resulted from the meeting. A more detailed full conference report is also available below.

Material

Presentations from the meeting

Day 1

Session I: Introduction

Key note speech: The best interests of the child

Johanna Schiratzki, Professor  of Welfare Law – Ersta Sköndal University College, Sweden

Session II: The best interests of the child in practice: Experience and perspectives from different sectors

The social services approach to best interests assessment

Social services approach to case assessment

Charlotta Thorelius, Development Manager against Prostitution and Human Trafficking – County Administrative Board of Stockholm, Sweden

The perspective on return and best interests assessment

Assisted Return for Victims of Trafficking and Foreign Persons in Prostitution

Claes Lyckner, Coordinator: Return of victims of trafficking – County Administrative Board of Stockholm, Sweden

Examples of multi-disciplinary/cross-sectoral/inter-agency approaches to best interests assessment

Minors and adults affected by trafficking in human beings

Mariana Petersel, President – Association Generatie Tanara, Romania

Children exposed to exploitation, trafficking and at risk in transnational situations:Case Assessment and Best Interest Determination

Bragi Guðbrandsson, General Director – The Government Agency for Child Protection, Iceland

Special considerations and procedures in transnational cases of children exposed to exploitation, trafficking, and children at risk

Evija Ivdra, Senior Inspector  – The State Inspectorate for protection of children’s rights, Latvia.

Day 2

Session III: International perspectives

The contribution of international actors to best interests assessments in transnational child protection cases 

Returning or placing children overseas – Issues and solutions

Andy Elvin, CEO – Children and Families Across Borders, UK

Contribution of international actors to best interest assessment

Monika Sandvik-Nylund, Senior Adviser on Child Protection, UNHCR

Respecting the Best Interests of Children in Transnational Child Protection Cases

Jyothi Kanics, Advocacy & Policy Specialist – Child Rights Advocacy and Education UnitUNICEF, Geneva

The best interest of the child vs. the best interest of the German state in transnational child protection cases

Dorothea Czarnecki, Senior Adviser – ECPAT, Germany

Experience with handling dilemmas in best interests assessment in transnational child protection cases

Translating Principles into Practice: Challenges and dilemmas from Save the Children’s international experience in Assessing the Best Interests of Children on the Move

Daniela Reale, Exploited Children Adviser – Save the Children, UK

Intra-EU Migration of migrant children at risk

Pierre Cazenave, Regional Child Rights Officer – Terre Des Hommes, Hungary

Session IV: The Child’s perspective

The child’s perspective and best interest determination in the formal system

The child perspective and best interest determination

Elin Wernqvist-Roberts, Manager – Children’s Rights Bureau, Sweden

Short term safety planning for asylum seeking children

Elinoar Lindroth, Social Worker – Social Services Administration, Sweden

Relevant links provided by the participants:

CFAB application for Chld Trafficking Awareness

Terre des Hommes: Protecting Migrant Children in a Freedom of Movement Area

The second expert meeting on Returns and Transfers: International and European standards, procedures and safeguards for children in transnational cases of children exposed to exploitation, trafficking and children at risk was held in Riga in May.

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