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Trafficking in persons is a lucrative crime and a gross human rights violation, which affects all EU Member States. Trafficking in children merits special attention of anti-trafficking efforts as children are especially vulnerable to trafficking, re-trafficking and victimisation and the number of children trafficked throughout the EU is on the rise. Investigation, protection and prevention measures for child trafficking are especially needed as the exploitation of children and violation of their rights have dramatic negative effects on children and society as a whole.
While there is some empirical evidence on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation of women, other forms of trafficking have not drawn attention of researchers, academics and policy makers. This means that victims of exploitation fall outside the radar of identification and thus cannot access the available assistance. Having this in mind, a consortium of seven partner organisations3 sough to explore three specific under-researched forms of child trafficking in order to contribute to the knowledge on how and why children fall prey to exploitation. The three forms studied are child trafficking for the purpose of begging exploitation, child trafficking for the purpose of pick-pocketing and child trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation of boys.