PROTECT II - Expert meeting and training on Promoting the Human Rights and Best Interests of Children in Transnational Child Protection Cases

50 professionals and officials from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Norway and Sweden participated in an expert meeting and training session on 7-8 December at the CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden. This was the fourth and final of a series of trainings which aim to build capacity by providing relevant tools and cross-national good practices that are rooted in international and European standards.

Each training features participants and special expertise from the host country. Per-Anders Sunesson, Ambassador at Large for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, gave his reflections on the anti-trafficking efforts at the international and Baltic Sea Regional level. Mihail Stoican, Head of Section, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, presented how to ensure that the rights and principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are reflected in all laws and policies. The meeting once again featured a role play using up and coming technology developed by Pär Stihl, Institute of Police Education, Linnaeus University, Sweden.
 
Helmut Sax, Member of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), shared the progress in developing an effective policy and practice against exploitation and trafficking of children.
 
Experts from the Baltic Sea Region briefed the meeting on the situation of child exploitation and trafficking in their countries. Further discussions looked at multi-disciplinary and inter-agency cooperation as the key for effective services, and also case assessments, information gathering and decision-making toward a durable solution, with special attention to national and cross-border assessments.

Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the training series aimed to foster networking and cooperation between officials and professionals from the Nordic countries, Baltic countries and North West Russia. The training modules, derived from the Guidelines Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases and the accompanying Practical Guide  (ENLTLVRUEEFI) are developed by Turid Heiberg, Daja Wenke and Maia Rusakova. The cooperation will continue into 2018, focusing on identification and best interest determinations, and will feature child participation. 

This meeting launched the Addendum to the Guidelines. As the  Guidelines Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases publication is envisaged as a living document, this Addendum provides an overview of some key themes and developments that emerged during the past year. 

 

Agenda

Participants
 

        

 

PROTECT Children on the Move Training & Expert Meeting

Welcome and introduction of participants
Maira Mora, Director General, Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat
Turid Heiberg, Head of Children at Risk Unit, CBSS

Children on the move in Europe: Migrants, asylum seekers, children at risk and victims of exploitation and trafficking
Introduction to the guidelines on the human rights and best interests of children in transnational cases

Child exploitation and trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region: Country briefings and reflections

Sweden
: Current challenges in preventing exploitation and trafficking of children in Sweden after a multi-year coordinated national response. Charlotta Thorelius, Development Manager against Prostitution and Human Trafficking, County Administrative Board of Stockholm

Russian Federation
:
Combating exploitation and trafficking of unacompanied children: Best practices from governmental organizations and NGOs. Maia Rusakova, Director, NGO Stellit  

Latvia
: Cases of exploitation, trafficking and risk factors.
 
Lauris Neikens, Senior Expert, Ministry of Welfare

Child exploitation and trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region: Country briefings and reflections

Lithuania
:
Cases of exploitation, trafficking and risk factors. Kristina Misiniene, Programme Coordinator, "Aid to the Victims of Trafficking and Prostitution", Caritas Lithuania

Sweden
: Missing unaccompanied children – A national task with a regional focus. Amir Hashemi-Nik, County Administrative Board of Stockholm

Council of Europe GRETA: Progress in developing an effective policy and practice against exploitation and trafficking of childrenHelmut Sax, Member of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA)

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a common guiding document - Presenting the child rights principles: Non-discrimination, best interests, development and right to be heard.

Sweden
: The CRC Coordination Unit, Swedish Ministry of Children: How to ensure that the rights and principles of the Convention are reflected in all laws and policies? Mihail Stoican, Head of Section, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Communicating with children: Skills, techniques and attitudes
Pär Stihl,
Institute of Police Education, Linnaeus University, Sweden

Reception celebrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child hosted by the Polish Ambassador Wieslaw Tarka, in the Polish Embassy. Invited guests and speakers;

Emma Henriksson, Chair of the Committee on Health and Welfare, Swedish Parliament
Pawel Jaros, Expert on the Children’s Law and Polish Ombudsman for Children 2001-2006              

Multi-disciplinary and interagency cooperation in child protection cases 
Introducing multi-disciplinary and interagency cooperation as the key for effective services. Requirements under international standards.

Iceland
:
The Barnahus model and the benefits it offers in cases of child trafficking. Bragi Guðbrandsson, Director, Government Agency for Child Protection.  

Best interests’ determinations for the identification of durable solutions in cross-border cases - Case assessments, information gathering and decision-making toward a durable solution, with special attention to national and cross-border assessments.

Finland:
The best interests of the child in the Child Welfare and the Aliens Act. 
Iiris Hjelt and Mikaela Lindroos, Finnish Immigration Service

Sweden
: The BBIC model promoting the best interests of the child. Katarina Munier, National Coordinator, National Board of Health and Welfare

Facilitators: Turid Heiberg, Maia Rusakova and Daja Wenke