First Training: Protective Care of Children and Young Persons that have been Trafficked
Protection of child victims of trafficking and of children and young persons that are unac-companied is a double issue: Children need protection in some form from traffickers. Some may be involved in criminal gangs that may want to get at the young person in order to retali-ate her/him witnessing against traffickers. They may also want to get to the young person in order to retraffic her or him. In several cases the trafficker may be a boyfriend and the at-tempts to get to the girl and persuade her to join him again may be in line with the young trafficked persons own ambition.
The protection issues to consider differ somewhat when we consider protection in the country of origin or in the host country. It also differs from one country to another. From the research and mapping done in the region, it seems that victims of trafficking fear what will happen to them when they return to their country of origin, but that the security issues are not that present in their minds when they are still in the host country.
There is also another way to look at the issue of protection. Protecting a young person from his/her own chosen lifestyle. In many countries there is legislation in place when a child leads a life endangering his or her own well-being. Children engaged in selling sex would in most countries be considered leading such a destructive life and would therefore be assisted or even forcibly assisted in changing the lifestyle. However, in most countries this protective legislation is not applied for citizens from another country. In cases of trafficking there is in many countries now a period of reflection for the victim. A period s/he is expected to use in considering the alternatives s/he has. For young persons there should be a possibility to use this period to mobilise the young person’s resources to change or find alternatives to the life of exploitation s/he is engaged in. This would demand the different child protection systems in the countries to consider the resources in place for a child to be, for a short period of time, put in forced care against his/her will? How is this applied? If a child is under non-consensual care, what are the restrictions on such care in the different countries? These problems will was the focus of the first international training event.