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The current publication presents a study on child trafficking conducted in seven EU member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Slovakia. The study looks at three specific forms of trafficking in persons: child trafficking for begging, for pickpocketing and for sexual exploitation of boys and the way they manifest themselves among Roma communities.
The findings of the study are based on analysis of policy documents and existing statistical data, as well focus groups and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. The fieldwork conducted in four of the countries, traditionally regarded as origin countries of trafficking victims, relied on participatory research methods. The active involvement of Roma organisations in the research aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the risk factors involved, bring knowledge back to the communities and support Roma experts’ involvement in counter-trafficking policy and mechanisms.
The report examines the profiles of victims and discusses the vulnerability factors that make the Roma minority a particular group at risk. The study provides empirical knowledge on the mechanisms of recruitment and exploitation of victims in order to inform identification efforts and counter-trafficking responses. Particular attention is devoted to the policy and measures for assistance of victims. In this field, the report identifies specific gaps in assistance and the way they affect Roma victims in particular, and suggests how child victim assistance could be improved.