Baltic Sea Region Comprehensive Assistance to Children Victims of Trafficking

Baltic Sea Region Comprehensive Assistance to Children Victims of Trafficking

In this programme funded by the European Commission through the Daphne II programme, Save the Children Sweden and Oak Foundation, the WGCC trained experts in care, protection and rehabilitation of children victims of trafficking.

The links below include reports from the BSR CACVT training programme along with tools and materials produced and utilised by the trainers during the five different meetings.

To access more details around the training, please contact the National Coordinator or the National Contact Point in your country. Names and contact details of these can be found in this website.

The BSR CACVT was made possible through the funding from the Daphne II programme, Oak foundation and Save the Children Sweden.

Baltic Sea Region Comprehensive Assistance to Children Victims of Trafficking – BSR CACVT

The Working Group for Cooperation on Children at Risk implemented a two-year training programme for professionals working with assistance to children that have been trafficked, or that are unaccompanied. The training consisted of five two day seminars. The programme received generous support from the EU through the Daphne programme, Save the Children Sweden and the Oak Foundation. A description of the project is available in English and Russian.

The programme was funded by the European Commission through the Daphne II programme, Save the Children Sweden and Oak Foundation, the WGCC trained experts in care, protection and rehabilitation of children victims of trafficking.

In this section you can find and download reports from the BSR CACVT training programme. You can also access tools and materials produced and utilised by the trainers during the five different meetings.

To access more details around the training, please contact the National Coordinator or the National Contact Point in your country. Names and contact details of these can be found in this website.

Through discussions with experts in the area of rehabilitation and support to children victims of exploitation and violence, the network of child experts in the cooperation on children at risk in the Baltic Sea Region identified a number of issues that should be thoroughly deliberated in this international training programme in order to assist national programmes and projects of assistance for children victims of trafficking. In all contacts it became increasingly clear that even if there is expertise on some of the issues at hand when assisting children and young persons exploited through trafficking, the knowledge on how to assist these in a comprehensive way was just not there. Whatever assistance will be implemented in the different countries, the professionals involved need international training and regional co-operation.

BSR CACVT Mapping Project – Describing cases of children trafficked in the Baltic Sea Region

With support from the EU Daphne Programme, the Working Group for Cooperation on Children at Risk commissioned a report that describes cases of children that are trafficked in the region. The mapping started on the 1st of November 2006 and continued until the 31st of October 2007. A description of the project is available in both English and Russian.

The mapping focued on how the involved authorities and agencies assisted the young persons and through interviews with affected young persons themselves, describe what in the assistance and protection that worked and what did not work.

First Training: Protective Care of Children and Young Persons that have been Trafficked

Resources from the training: Material, programme and presentations 

Protection of child victims of trafficking and of children and young persons that are unac-companied is a double issue: Children need protection in some form from traffickers. Some may be involved in criminal gangs that may want to get at the young person in order to retali-ate her/him witnessing against traffickers. They may also want to get to the young person in order to retraffic her or him. In several cases the trafficker may be a boyfriend and the at-tempts to get to the girl and persuade her to join him again may be in line with the young trafficked persons own ambition.

The protection issues to consider differ somewhat when we consider protection in the country of origin or in the host country. It also differs from one country to another. From the research and mapping done in the region, it seems that victims of trafficking fear what will happen to them when they return to their country of origin, but that the security issues are not that present in their minds when they are still in the host country.

There is also another way to look at the issue of protection. Protecting a young person from his/her own chosen lifestyle. In many countries there is legislation in place when a child leads a life endangering his or her own well-being. Children engaged in selling sex would in most countries be considered leading such a destructive life and would therefore be assisted or even forcibly assisted in changing the lifestyle. However, in most countries this protective legislation is not applied for citizens from another country. In cases of trafficking there is in many countries now a period of reflection for the victim. A period s/he is expected to use in considering the alternatives s/he has. For young persons there should be a possibility to use this period to mobilise the young person’s resources to change or find alternatives to the life of exploitation s/he is engaged in. This would demand the different child protection systems in the countries to consider the resources in place for a child to be, for a short period of time, put in forced care against his/her will? How is this applied? If a child is under non-consensual care, what are the restrictions on such care in the different countries? These problems will was the focus of the first international training event.

Second Training: Psychological Assistance to Children Victims of Trafficking

Resources from the second training seminar

A number of difficult issues are involved in looking at assistance for children victims of trafficking. Areas that need to be developed further exist side by side with areas where knowledge and expertise is already in place. How does exploitation affect the young person? Overall, the knowledge on how children are affected psychologically by exploitation is limited. Some experience exists but this is built on few cases and the knowledge has not been systematically organised nor is it in a form that can be communicated. The lack of knowledge in this field must not lead into denying young persons access to the best possible psychological care. The four C?s: Compliance, Control, Closure and Compensation seem to be important parts of any comprehensive psychotherapeutic treatment process that should be offered young persons that have been exploited.

The motivation for healing and how to build a contract for healing and for change with the young person is important in this. Each care worker must encourage and build in the young person skills to communicate and skills to protect yourself. The experience is that children that have been involved in trafficking usually have no decision-making skills or social skills at all and they usually have a long and traumatic history. What can the professional then hope to heal? Is it possible to manage and reprocess old traumas, like childhood sexual abuse? Is it feasible to heal family traumas, old wounds in the family of origin that in some sense is awakened in the young person and sometimes acted out in the exploitation process? Proper and thorough assessment of the child is vital. Each case would need careful assessment in order to be properly cared for. As we are mostly dealing with teenagers one positive aspect could be to elaborate with them their own participation in defining the healing context. Comprehensive assessments need to be made, both of the child of the family and of the history of the young person. The comprehensive assessment procedure that needs to be in place should be guided by a manual, assisting the professional in suggesting the kind of assessments that may be called for. The psychologists need to be well acquainted with how to develop contact in a setting that would enable the child to feel more at ease.

Experiences from projects assisting young persons involved in prostitution are that the contact phase as the care worker attempts at finding a proper space in which to interact with the young person usually means meetings in cafés or hamburger places in order to allow the young person to better define the proper space than is possible to do in a more clinic like setting. The training in this needs to incorporate also how psychologists and social workers may cooperate in the work assisting children and another part of the training need to deal with the first contact between the authorities and the trafficked child. Often the police is the first point of contact for the child so contact building with the police is vital. Police regularly complains about the fact that it is so difficult to get in contact with social workers in the acute phase when assistance and secure housing is desperately needed. Authorities need to respect the work flow of other involved professionals and define the process enabling them to cooperate. Psychological support, in the case of assisting children and young persons victims of trafficking means psychologists participating in the first contact with acute assistance and the psychologist also being part of the deliberations of protective care for the affected child. Finally, in these cases the fact that counselling is given in the host country, needs to be conveyed to the care workers continuing to work to assist the child in the home country.

 

Third training: Children’s Participation in Shaping their own Healing Context

Resources from the training

This seminar was a special training devoted to the development of techniques and methods inviting the young person her/himself to participate in the shaping of how s/he is assisted.

The training, among other issues, consisted of training in:

  • Peer group support.
  • Encouraging the agency of the young person.
  • Outlining possibilities in cooperation with the young person.
  • Defining the space for assistance.
  • Developing techniques to involve young persons instead of advising them what to do.

The article 12 in the Convention on the rights of the child clearly and unambiguously states the fact that children should be made partners in all aspects of decision making that affects them. The assistance measures are based on decisions that the child should be made a party to. This however, requires innovative thinking in order for the professional to be able to convey to the child his/her assessments and recommendations. The inclusion of the young person in this also means that professionals may need to rethink their treatment strategies.

Fourth Training: Networking and Family work with Children and Young Persons Victims of Trafficking

Resources from the training

The importance of the family in supporting a young person can never be overestimated and care workers need to develop their expertise in how to create a healing context that works towards including the family in all forms of assistance. The network of relatives, neighbours, friends and other people in the young person’s life may also be used as a resource when it comes to assistance.

Some issues that were important to elaborate in this training were:

  • Finding the family.
  • Mobilising the family.
  • Adapting family therapy techniques.
  • Using the family as a resource.
  • Assessment of the family’s situation.
  • Identifying the social network.
  • Enabling the dynamics of the social network to work to assist the young person.
  • Building of alternative ways of support.

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This programme was funded by the European Commission through the Daphne II programme.

Fifth Training: Reintegration in old environment or integration in a new context

Resources from the training