Child trafficking – a call for rights-based integrated approaches

Authored by: Helmut Sax

Routledge Handbook of Human Trafficking

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138892064
eBook ISBN: 9781315709352
Adobe ISBN:


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Fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, or Libya, more than one million people arrived in Europe in 2015, including children with families, as well as children separated from them. 1 Several institutions have raised serious concerns about the risks of trafficking for children migrating to Europe. 2 These developments have revealed weaknesses not only in the European Union’s asylum regime, but also in child protection systems in the region; 3 while GRETA, the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking monitoring body, kept reminding governments of their obligations to prevent child trafficking and to protect migrant children from exploitation. 4 Nevertheless, also outside the turmoil of conflict, children 5 are tricked into, and trapped in, situations of dependency and exploitation: ending up as domestic servants in private households, on cannabis farms, in the hospitality and cleaning business, or in the clothing industry; promising job offers in major cities or abroad turn into prostitution; children are exploited through forced begging in the streets or pressured into criminal activities, such as pick-pocketing or drug dealing; girls are forced into marriage, followed by sexual exploitation.

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