In its 6th General Report, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) highlights important gaps in the prevention of trafficking in children and in the identification and protection of child victims of trafficking.
The report shows that 4,361 children were identified as victims of trafficking in just 12 European countries between 2012 and 2015. On average, children represent a quarter of the identified victims of human trafficking, but there are important variations between countries. Children are being trafficked transnationally, as well as internally, for different forms of exploitation (sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, forced begging, forced criminal activities or forced marriage).
GRETA expresses concern that significant numbers of unaccompanied children go missing shortly after being placed in reception centres, which exposes them to further risks of trafficking and exploitation.
Examples of good practice from different countries are also outlined in the report. These include targeted awareness-raising projects, mobile units set up to detect vulnerable children and specialised centres supporting child victims of trafficking.