The CBSS Children at Risk Unit invited policymakers, practitioners, advocates and researchers from the Nordic and Baltic Sea Region, including Northwest Russia, to gather on 29 – 30 May 2018 the for the regional expert conference on Good Practices in Identification and Referral of Children at Risk of Exploitation and Trafficking in Oslo, Norway.
The Norwegian Deputy Minister for Children and Equality, Mr Tom Erlend Skaug, opened the conference. Together with leading European and international experts from the child rights and anti-trafficking field, the participants engaged in a review of the current state of knowledge, policy and practice and develop the Oslo Conclusions.
The results of a multi-country consultation process with child victims of exploitation and trafficking informed the discussion: the children had previously made recommendations on what kind of support is needed to exit difficult and exploitative situations. The speakers, panellists and participants asked and responded to critical questions, engaged in solution-oriented discussions and identified key learning from today’s practice that could guide more effective and appropriate approaches to identification and referral, in the region and beyond.
The conference builds upon previous meetings and achievements in the CBSS Protect Children on the Move project and is a follow up to 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 Guidelines on the human rights and the best interests of the child in transnational child protection cases have been developed as well as a special portal on Wikipedia providing information about transnational child protection. Several hundred officials, professionals and experts have been consulted, trained and shared information during 2013 – 2018.
The Council of the Baltic Sea States Expert Group on Children at Risk developed the project in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers. During 2016, the two Councils organized training seminars in Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm. In 2017, meetings on good practices in identification and referral have taken place in St. Petersburg and Vilnius.
The conference was co-organized with the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs.
Photos from the Conference – CBSS Secretariat Flickr
Agenda and presentations
Welcome Speech: “Challenges and opportunities”. Ms Kristin Ugstad Steinrem, Director, The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs
Hearing the Child’s Story – The key for better identification and referral. Findings and lessons learned from the regional consultation process: PROTECT Children on the Move. Presenting The Oslo Conclusions on Identifying Children at Risk of Exploitation and Trafficking. Ms Turid Heiberg, Ms Daja Wenke and Ms Maia Rusakova (Project Team)
Key-note address: “Strengthening systems of identification and referral of children on the move, victims of trafficking and other forms of exploitation” Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children and President of ”Missing Children Europe”
Obligations and opportunities arising from the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016 – 2021) for safeguarding children from exploitation and trafficking. Ms Petya Nestorova, Executive Secretary, Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
Is the identification of child victims of trafficking a possible undertaking? Why are evident signs of exploitation and trafficking often not followed-up? Mr Mike Dottridge, Independent Expert, with speakers notes
Challenges for the police and prosecution authorities in identifying and protecting child victims of trafficking. Best practice and lessons learned from cases in Norway Mr Rudolf Christoffersen, Member of GRETA and Public Prosecutor in Bergen
To be a “superkid”. The way out and the way forward – A true story about child trafficking Ms Angelica Kjos, Artist, Author and Experience Consultant, with summary.
Child-sensitive communication and trust building as key to hearing the child’s story and identifying signs of exploitation and trafficking. Presentation of evidence-based interviewing and how this helps to encourage the child to disclose experiences.
Best interests’ determination as a formal procedure to ensure comprehensive assessments of risks of exploitation and trafficking and effective decision making in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Ms Maia Rusakova, Director, Stellit, Russia
Ms Ninna Mörner, President/Coordinator, Information on the Swedish Platform Civil Society Against Human Trafficking
Ms Þóra Björk Ágústsdóttir and Ms Lilja Rós Pálsdóttir, Specialists/Project Manager, Icelandic Directorate of Immigration
Ms Kadi Lauri, Head of Local Government Counselling, Estonian Social Insurance Board
Adopting the Conference Statement
“Sacrifice” and “Nobody like me” – Performance by Angelica Kjos, singer-songwriter.
Ms Ingrid Weider Lothe and Ms Anne Kristine Ivan, Senior Advisers, Coordination Unit for Victims of Trafficking (KOM), National Police Directorate, Norway
Ms Anne Sofie Döskeland, Senior Adviser, The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Norway
Ms Kristina Misiniene, Head of the Centre against Human Trafficking and Exploitation, Lithuania