9thSeptember, Stockholm: Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, will today open a meeting of experts on trafficking and the exploitation of children across borders. Ms de Boer-Buquicchio’s keynote speech will be given to almost fifty experts from across Europe at the launch of two days of discussions about transnational protection of children who have been trafficked and exploited.

The meeting aims to develop guidelines for authorities, academics and practitioners to improve their cooperation and to ensure the safety and empowerment of children at risk.

Several experts from Lithuania, such as Odeta Tarvydiene, the Director for the State Child Protection and Adoption Service and Rūta Pabedinskienė from the Ministry of Social Security and Labour will participate in the discussion on case management. Other experts from Lithuania include Rita Augutiene, Jolita Juskeviciene, Edita Žiobienė, Beatričė Bernotienė, Renata Kuleš and Aiste Jankauskaite.

Speakers from other countries will include: Judge Peter Banda from the Netherlands; representatives from CBSS Member State governments and national organisations in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Norway and Sweden; and representatives from Afghanistan, Albania, Kosovo, Romania, and the United Kingdom. International actors will also be present.

The expert meeting is part of a series of five 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 guidelines 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 reports and documents from the meetings will be available on www.childcentre.info.

Organisers: Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat (CBSS), the Latvian State Border Guard, Stockholm Social Emergency Center, the Lithuanian State Child Protection and Adoption Service. The project has been granted funds by the European Commission’s Return Fund and CBSS.

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