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Research project




Human Trafficking in EUROPE (research in progress)

Europe has been a prime consumer of child trafficking because it is a source of affluence and advantage, able to provide a market and act as a lure for unwitting trafficked persons. The scheduled admission of 10 additional countries to the 15-state European Union in May 2004 will no doubt redesign the map of trafficking on the continent and it is crucial to develop responses in what will be an entirely new scenario. It is crucial to undertake research and develop appropriate tools for effective policy responses in this new scenario.

For this reason, the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre research on Europe focuses on developing research methodologies for gathering specific and reliable data. This 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 implemented strategies are indeed improving the protection of trafficked children. In order to promote knowledge-based policy making, the Centre is working to:
  • optimize current research tools and methodologies to understand and monitor child trafficking, maintaining a child-centred and rights-based approach;
  • organize data collection, publishing data, and promoting its use;
  • develop statistics as a public good, and the use of statistics in advocacy for effective public policies;
  • foster close interaction between researchers and policy makers, with increased involvement of policy makers in the design of data collection and analysis
The project is intended to be developed in alliances with UNICEF Regional and Country Offices in Eastern Europe as well UNICEF National Committees.

Objectives of the research:
  1. Survey and assess multiple levels of policy responses in Europe in order to promote a child-rights approach in both prevention and protection areas
  2. Examine the extent to which the future enlargement of the EU can impact in changing trafficking flows and patterns, and possible effects on policy responses.
  3. Analyze strategies to strengthen co-ordination and synergies in trafficking related policies within European countries in order to achieve more effective responses.

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