A commonly overlooked group of victims of human trafficking are children who are born from and into trafficking situations. Some children are born to mothers trafficked for sexual exploitation (fathered by a trafficker or client); others are born to trafficked mothers who were bought by a “husband.” These children are exposed, from birth, to the violence and violations that constitute human trafficking and are deprived of basic needs for their physical and mental development. Moreover, they witness the on-going abuse and exploitation of their mothers. They are also exposed to a range of challenges and complications when they leave trafficking and make their way “home” with their mothers. To date, little attention has been paid to these children in research or in programmatic or policy responses. Yet these children face serious challenges, not only while living in exploitative situations, but also after trafficking, when they return “home” and integrate into their mothers’ families, communities and countries. Equally, service providers face a range of constraints in effectively supporting the safety, well-being and long term integration of these children. This paper focuses on the tensions, complications, and challenges that children born of trafficking and their mothers face in the integration process and how these inhibit their successful and sustainable (re)integration. Drawing on interviews with trafficked persons and anti-trafficking professionals from Southeastern Europe (SEE), this article discusses four levels at which integration takes place: 1) in the child’s relations with the trafficked mother; 2) in family relationships; 3) in community interactions; and 4) in the formal society into which they integrate. The article explores challenges as well as possible opportunities for integration of children born of trafficking. An enhanced understanding is needed about the particular challenges that these children and their mothers face after trafficking to effectively and appropriately support the inclusion of these children into their families, communities, and countries and to ensure their access to the rights and opportunities that they are entitled to and which are vital for their healthy development. Greater focus is also needed on children born of trafficking in their own right, in terms of their own specific needs and victim status, rather than being treated as attached or appendices of their trafficked mothers.
Children and youth account for a significant proportion of persons trafficked from and within the Balkan region. Both boys and girls are trafficked. Some are exploited sexually; others are exploited for different forms of labor, including begging and street selling. Still others suffer multiple forms of exploitation while trafficked. Reintegrating trafficked children presents particularly complex issues and challenges. This paper discusses each of the different services and types of support needed to meet the reintegration needs of trafficked children and youth in the Balkan region and in line with international standards. It also looks into challenges facing service providers in offering this support to trafficked children and youth, including: the identification of trafficked children, options for providing foster care, and prosecution of perpetrators due to gaps in the criminal code. This paper offers recommendations about how each service area might be enhanced to better meet the reintegration needs of trafficked children and youth.
This paper is a first step in the articulation of ethical principles for reintegration programs and polices. The analysis reviews existing efforts in South-East Europe to highlight how ethical issues are identified and addressed in the anti-trafficking field. In addition, the paper explores some of the challenges organizations face while working on reintegration of victims of trafficking, as well as discussing different strategies used to anticipate, manage and address appropriately ethical issues in the day-to-day operations of reintegration organizations. The paper outlines ethical principles that can serve as a basis for reflection, discussion and analysis of the challenges and dilemmas that reintegration professionals face, supporting them in making ethically informed decisions about how to act in different situations in accordance with the values of the reintegration process and advancing victim-centered considerations.
Reintegration is a process that involves many steps after the individual’s exit from trafficking. Trafficked persons should be afforded the full range of rights and protections they are entitled to and which are guaranteed under law. While many trafficked persons interviewed for this study were assisted and supported in these ways; many others went unidentified and unassisted as trafficking victims, which meant not receiving support to aid in their recovery and sustainable reintegration. Still others received some forms of assistance but not the full range of services that they required (and were entitled to) to move on from trafficking experience and successfully reintegrate. Some trafficked persons chose to decline some or all of the support offered to them. This research aims to understand the individual and diverse reintegration experiences of trafficked persons – what was positive, what was less successful and what might be done in the future to either replicate good practices or avoid problematic ones.
Trafficking involving children is not the same as trafficking involving adults. While many aspects are similar, children very often have heightened vulnerabilities to being trafficked and special needs during their reintegration and recovery. And the differentiated needs of children of different ages also must be considered throughout. This article considers all manifestations of trafficking in minors from and within South Eastern Europe, with particular attention to trafficking for labor, begging, delinquency, and adoption. Through a discussion of these forms of trafficking and an exploration of profiles of affected victims, this article identifies trafficking risks and draws a carefully derived picture of factors contributing to trafficking, individual and social sites of vulnerability, and victims’ recruitment and trafficking experiences. In so doing, the article challenges the hegemonic representations of trafficking in the region, which have primarily focused on trafficking of young adult women for sexual exploitation. In addition, this article considers the existing assistance framework in the South East Europe region and how this does (or does not) meet the needs of minors trafficked for these less-considered forms of exploitation. Answers to such queries provide potential windows of policy and programmatic opportunity. The overall objective of this article is to move toward a more accurate understanding of the issue and, perhaps most importantly, more effective policy and programs.
This assessment outlines the current state of trafficking in the country as well as the various legal, policy and programmatic efforts underway in Sierra Leone that can be mobilized against child trafficking. The assessment finds that child trafficking is an issue of concern in Sierra Leone – as a source country both for internal trafficking as well as trafficking abroad. Child trafficking victims were both male and female of varying ages. Trafficking occurs for a range of different purposes including sexual exploitation (prostitution, marriage), labor (domestic work, mining, fishing, trading and vending, agriculture), begging and petty crime, adoption and into the fighting forces. While the assessment primarily considered child trafficking, it was noted that adults were also trafficked from and within the country. This report finds that 1) there have not been programs to prevent child trafficking and 2) the current child protection structure is not sufficient to accommodate the specific and special needs of trafficked minors. Also discussed are the gaps and issues to be considered in on-going counter-trafficking efforts.