Child exploitation: Cross-national child protection in practice – ‘PROTECT Children on the Move’
During 2014 and 2015, with co-financing from the EU Commission’s Return Fund, the Children’s Unit at the CBSS Secretariat organised 5 expert meetings to discuss the state of transnational child protection and to share best practices. In bringing more than 250 experts from across the Baltic Sea Region and beyond, the meetings aimed to identify child rights standards and key agencies responsible for protecting children exposed to exploitation and trafficking in cross border situations. The outcomes of the project will include a set of Guidelines for Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases. The Guidelines are based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and give advice on how practitioners can work across both cross-sectoral and cross-national lines with the child’s human rights and best interest perspective as a common baseline. A wiki on transnational child protection will also be developed. Project partners are the Latvian State Border Guard, the Stockholm Social Emergency Center, and the Lithuanian State Child Protection and Adoption Service.
The project was co-funded by the European Union Return Fund – Community Actions of the European Commission Directorate-General Home Affairs.
During 2016, with financing from the Nordic Council of Ministers Trafficking in Human Beings Programme, the CBSS will use the Guidelines described above to increase the capacity of professionals responsible for handling transnational child protection cases. With the support of experts from the Region, a series of 2-day
The cooperation between the CBSS and Nordic Council of Ministers continues into 2018 with a workshop series focusing on challenges and opportunities in the identification and referral of children on the move who have been victims of exploitation or trafficking. In addition to receiving input from national level experts from the Baltic Sea Region, recommendations from children are presented at each workshop. The recommendations are the result of facilitated discussions with children who have been through challenging situations – thus enabling children’s voices to be heard on the expert and policy levels. The facilitated discussions with children is a pilot of a storytelling method of hearing the child which has been developed by the CBSS.
Identification remains challenging not only because children may be exploited in hidden places but also because the child trafficking definition is complex and difficult to apply in practice. Identification is often guided by stereotypes, which could prevent the identification of child victims who do not fall into the groups typically considered to be victims of trafficking. Children themselves are often unaware of being in a process that ends in exploitation. For the child, official recognition as a victim holds opportunities for recovery. Given the complexity, the child’s story is the key to understanding what has happened, and interagency cooperation is essential to
This workshop series is a continuation of an EU funded project that developed the Guidelines for Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases and also the Practical guide for caseworkers and case officers. It is the second phase of the cooperation between the CBSS and Nordic Council of Ministers to combat exploitation and trafficking in children, and a notable component of the CBSS’s work to follow up on The Stockholm Conclusions Promoting Good Practices in Protecting Migrant and Asylum Seeking Children, especially Unaccompanied Children, and Finding Solutions for the Children, Families, Societies and States – December 2016.
The second and third phase of the PROTECT project is co-funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The Protect Network
The PROTECT Network currently has contacts from 17 European countries from a wide range of professions. These contacts are experts and professionals who are engaged in ensuring safety for children in migration and protecting them from exploitation and trafficking.
When you join this informal network, your name, organization and contact information will be added to a list of contact points. We will distribute your information to those who are on the list. We aim to regularly update the list with new names and updated contacts. When you contact someone in the PROTECT network, you may find the answers you need in your daily work, be it information, ideas, guidance, or even where to turn next for an answer. The PROTECT network of contact points is developed with the kind support of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The Transnational Child Protection Portal
In 2015 the CBSS developed and launched a portal on Wikipedia on the topic of transnational child protection.The Transnational Child Protection Portal offers a platform for sharing information, knowledge, and expertise among all those involved in safeguarding children in cross-border situations. It offers an overview about tools, approaches and methods as well as institutions and contacts in different countries. The platform will evolve when more and more institutions, services and professionals take part in sharing their expertise.
The Portal was developed as part of the Cross-national child protection in practice – ‘PROTECT Children on the Move’ project. The project was co-funded by the European Union Return Fund – Community Actions of the European Commission Directorate-General Home Affairs – and the Council of the Baltic Sea States.
Guidelines – Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases
These Guidelines are formed by the project Child Exploitation: Cross-National Child Protection in Practice – ‘PROTECT Children on the Move’ and the experience and evidence shared by the numerous professionals and officials who participated in the project consultations.
In this context, the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat and partners in Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden convened five expert meetings in 2014 and 2015 on transnational child protection.
The Guidelines are directed at all professionals and officials working with and for children, such as policy makers and public officials in countries of origin, transit and destination, public and private service providers within child care and protection structures
and the asylum reception system, guardians, immigration officials and case officers, border guards, and child rights advocates.
In 2016, at an expert meeting held in Stockholm, an Addendum to the Guidelines has been launched. As the Guidelines publication is envisaged as a living document, this Addendum provides an overview of some key themes and developments that emerged during the year of 2016.
Transnational Child Protection: Practical guide for caseworkers and case officers
This practical guide presents an overview of measures to safeguard the human rights and the best interests of children in cross-border situations. It is an easy and accessible tool for caseworkers and case officers such as social workers, immigration officials and law enforcement officers as well as lawyers, guardians and other professionals working with and for children on the move.
The guide is based on a set of guidelines, which provide more elaborate and detailed information and a discussion of the key themes. In addition, the Transnational Child Protection Portal offers access online to the content of the practical guide as well as additional information for professionals and officials working with and for children on the move.
The practical guide is available in ENG, EE, FI, LT, LV and RU.
Please select your language below!
Find all information and material of past events and meetings below.