Under a project supported by the Swedish Institute Baltic Sea Unit and the Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, teams of police, prosecutors, child welfare professionals and NGO experts from Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden have made site visits in the four countries looking at the challenges facing law enforcement and child protection when it comes to protecting children suspected of being trafficked for exploitation in begging and/or in criminality.
Four site visits plus a final roundtable meeting gave numerous opportunities to analyse obstacles for access to protection for child victims and difficulties in prosecuting the perpetrators. The report looks at the discussions and the good examples encountered in the four countries.
The experience with addressing child trafficking in the region is concentrated mainly on cases of sexual exploitation. There is, however, evidence and a growing awareness that children are exposed to many different and multiple forms of exploitation. An area that has thus far received limited attention is the exploitation of children in begging and criminal activities. With the adoption of the new EU Directive on human trafficking in 2011, governments have specifically committed to address these forms of exploitation.