Children trafficked for exploitation in begging and criminality

Children are exposed to trafficking and exploitation in begging and criminality. Read the report…

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.

Poject Launch: Children trafficked for exploitation in begging and in criminality

Project description – Young people in criminality and young people in street begging may be victims of exploitation where the acts they perform or are forced to perform are instigated as a part of organised criminality. Professionals both in law enforcement and child protection face numerous challenges working with these young people.

In this project, national expert teams consisting of an investigating police officer, a prosecutor, a child protection professional and a representative of a child right’s NGO will be formed in each participating country. The teams will travel to each country, visit national facilities, and discuss their challenges, experiences and good practices.

Children trafficked for exploitation in begging and in criminality – Roundtable conference, Vilnius 29 – 30 November

The Expert Group for Cooperation on Children at risk, EGCC, has with funding from the Swedish Institute, Baltic Sea Unit, and the Norwegian ministry for children, equality and social inclusion implemented a pilot project exploring challenges for prosecution, police, social welfare services and child protection when a child is suspected to be exploited through begging or in criminality.

The pilot project ended with a roundtable meeting at which some 60 experts from the region and from other parts of Europe looked at how best to ensure protection while prosecuting perpetrators.

Agenda and presentations 

Welcome address: H.E. Donatas Jankauskas, Minister of Social Security and Labour

Overview of the roundtable. Mr Lars Lööf, Head of Children’s Unit, Council of the Baltic Sea States, Secretariat. [PDF]

Protection of children exploited in begging and in criminality – challenges for social workers. Ms Charlotta Thorelius, Stockholm Emergency Child Protection Services. [PDF]

Investigating trafficking crimes. Police work identifying perpetrators. Mr Magne Stenkløv, Østfold Police District, Norway. [PDF]

Prosecuting trafficking crimes. You cannot see it before you believe it. Mr Rudolf Christoffersen, State Prosecutor, Bergen, Norway. [PDF]

Empowering the child – Applying the UN CRC in cases of child trafficking. The NGO perspective. Ms Gabriela Kühn, Nobody’s Children Foundation, Poland and Ms Ms Dorota Przygucka, La Strada Foundation, Poland [PDF]

Summing up of challenging issues in the four countries. Ms Daja Wenke, Child Rights Consultant, Italy. [PDF]

UK experiences regarding the fight against child exploitation in begging and in criminality. Ms Klara Skrivankova, Anti-Slavery International, UK[PDF]

Children Exploited Through Begging in Europe: What Do We Know? Ms Claire Healy, International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Austria [PDF]

Building a central resource for cross-border child protection cases. Ms Odeta Tarvydiene, State Child Protection and Adoption Service, Lithuania [PDF]

Trafficking in my back-yard? What do child protection professionals know about trafficking? Line Vollebaek, Norway [PDF]

Summing up of day 1 and introduction of themes for discussion. Mr Lars Lööf 

Protection of children exploited in begging and in criminality. Introduction by Ms Kristina Misiniene, Caritas, Lithuania. Gaps, challenges, good practices.

Do we see the criminal young person? Can we identify the victim of a crime? Is it necessary to be aware of both? Introduction by Mr Børge Njå, Oslo local council, St Hanshaugen, Norway. Identifying practices across the region.

Is legislation useful and how can it be adapted to the changing face of child trafficking? Introduction by Ms Małgorzata Kozłowska, General Prosecutors’ office, Poland. Identification of legislative challenges in the region.


Expert seminar on links between child trafficking and children commiting crimes, are involved in begging or in street work

On September 14 – 15 2010 a group of experts from the Baltic Sea Region met to discuss the possble links between trafficking and children found in criminality, in begging and in street work. A report from the seminar can be accessed here.