Research on child trafficking

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre has been working on child trafficking for a number of years in close collaboration with UNICEF's Regional and Country Offices and other partners in order to identify effective policy solutions. The research on Child Trafficking was initiated in 1998 in Western Africa in collaboration with UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office. The results of this research, Child Trafficking in West Africa: policy responses were presented at the Special Session on Children. Currently IRC is a key research partner in the development of a European Union -African Plan of Action on trafficking. The research Trafficking in Human Beings, especially Women and Children, in Africa covers 53 African Countries and is a collaborative project between the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre and the Governments of Italy and Sweden. This research focuses on the situation of Africa, drawing a preliminary mapping of trafficking patterns on the continent and providing an indication of emerging good practices in the area of policy responses and legislative framework. The research took place against a background of lack of reliable estimates and a dearth of trafficking research and methodology tools. However, research challenges such as these have provided an opportunity to develop and test innovative methods for the gathering and assessment of data. The report and findings are anchored in the commitment by Heads of State at the EU-Africa Summit to identify democracy, human rights and good governance as being among an agreed set of eight priority areas for political action The studies analysed national level policy responses and programming interventions. It also promoted field driven research to inspire strategic activities by UNICEF and its partners. The process was formulated in partnership with regional and national key players and stimulated political discussions and government reflections for better responses in preventing and combating this phenomenon. The conclusions and recommendations from the research now constitute a reference point for action on child trafficking globally regarding, in particular, the need to: increase understanding of child trafficking recognise child trafficking as a complex protection issue, which includes the removal, transportation, illegal reception or sale, and placement of the child into an exploitative context share a comprehensive understanding of child trafficking guided by the definition set out in the Palermo Protocol develop national legislation that conforms with International Standards and promotes bilateral and multilateral co-operation develop research on child trafficking and ensure harmonized methodologies enhance inter agency-collaboration enhance monitoring capacity Research on child trafficking in Europe Due to the relevance of results and the importance of the issue UNICEF has mobilized resources to follow-up the research with a view to consolidation previous research outputs and in order to ensure sustainable impact. Thus, the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre is engaged in research activities on trafficking of children focusing this time on Europe. Building on previous experiences, this research targets the complexity of the problem from its origin (Central and Eastern Europe and Baltic States) to its destination (EU and Western Europe) by using an integrated approach. Furthermore, the future enlargement of the EU will probably redesign the map of trafficking flows and it is crucial to develop appropriate tools for effective policy responses in what will be an entirely new scenario. The Europe-focused research pays particular attention to the difficulty in gathering data - the lack of quantitative and qualitative data on trafficked children is one of the main constraints to effective intervention and evidence-based policy making. The lack of available information also limits the ability to determine if the implemented strategies are indeed improving the protection of trafficked children. In order to promote knowledge-based policy making, the IRC is: Optimizing current research tools and methodologies to understand and monitor child trafficking, maintaining a child-centered approach based on the rights of the child Organizing data collection, published data, and promoting its use Developing statistics as a public good, and the use of statistics in advocacy for effective public policies Fostering close interactionbetween policy makers and researchers, with increased involvement of policy makers in design of data collection and analysis

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