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South Asia in Action to Prevent Child Trafficking and Assist Affected Children

07 Jul 2006
Indian girl
In the framework of its regional research on child trafficking in South Asia, the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre convened an Expert Consultation on “South Asia in Action to Prevent Child Trafficking and Assist Affected Children” in Florence, Italy, on 29-30 June 2006. The consultation brought together Government representatives from six of the eight South Asian countries participating in the study, UNICEF Protection Officers from Country Offices in the region as well as Regional Office representatives from South and East Asia. Participants jointly reviewed preliminary findings with a view to securing ownership of the process and its outputs, and to begin discussing next steps. The IRC research on child trafficking in South Asia is composed of various complementary elements. These include a mapping exercise based on secondary data review and primary data collection with the support of Country Offices and Governments. The mapping is complemented by an in-depth review of existing laws and policies to prevent child trafficking at the national and regional levels, including a critical analysis of the conceptual frameworks applied. In addition, a series of case studies will highlight efforts to prevent child trafficking in the region. Findings so far suggest that South Asia is a region rich with experience in addressing child trafficking. Law and policy responses vary considerably from one country to the next, and there is little in existing legislation that protects child victims from trafficking from criminal prosecution. At the same, there is a proliferation of community based activity to prevent trafficking from occuring in the first instance. More findings will emerge as the study continues during 2006. This research initiative builds on close cooperation between the Innocenti Research Centre and the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, UNICEF Country Offices in the region and Government counterparts. The project is supported by the Japan National Committee for UNICEF. A more detailed overview on IRC studies on child trafficking in Africa, Europe and South Asia is available at www.childtrafficking.org/eng/about/research.html.