UNICEF Releases Report on Child Trafficking in Eastern Europe
Monday, January 12, 2009 3:40 PM

The UNICEF Innocenti Centre (formally known as the International Child Development Centre) based in Florence, Italy, released a report in December 2008 on child trafficking. The report is based on interviews with 31 individuals in Albania, Kosovo, Republic of Moldova and Romania who had been trafficked when under the age of 18.  It details children’s experiences with trafficking and support services.

According to the report, “[p]overty, domestic violence and abuse and parental alcohol addiction were broadly reported as interrelated factors.” These situations often forced children to choose to leave home to find work rather than remain with their families. Many did not know about the risks involved and reported that if they had received information about migration and working abroad, they may have had better protection from trafficking.

The report highlights anecdotes and case histories of children’s lives before being trafficked, during trafficking, and during repatriation and recovery. One finding of note was that the interviewees often lacked control over choices in their lives and decisions were often made without their consultation. Another key finding was that institutions which came into contact with interviewees often did not adequately represent or protect them in the country of origin or destination. An important finding was that hearing directly from trafficked children about their experiences created a wealth of information about their experiences which could be used in services and prevention programs in the future.

Compiled from: Dottridge, Mike (2008), ‘Young People’s Voices on Child Trafficking: Experiences from South Eastern Europe,’ Innocenti Working Paper No. IWP-2008-05. Florence, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.