European Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings

New publication

Human (Child) Trafficking - A Look through the Internet Window

Document number
Human (Child) Trafficking - A Look through the Internet Window
ASTRA (Anti-Trafficking Action)
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Document type(s)
Child Trafficking, Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, Best Interests Principle, Child Victims of Trafficking, Separated Migrant Children, Unaccompanied minors, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Child protection systems,
Through its program SOS Hotline and Direct Victim Assistance, ASTRA has had opportunity to see almost all forms of human trafficking and the use of various methods for recruiting victims into the trafficking ring. In recent years, Serbia has witnessed the abuse of SMS technology and explicit messages of "lascivious content" on the telops of almost all TV channels, sometimes even in daytime. Also, well-known in practice are the cases of mail-order brides, sex tours offered over the Internet, as well as the shift of phone sex services to live sex over the Internet. The first victim of human trafficking recruited over the Internet contacted ASTRA in 2004, which drew our attention to this type of recruitment. As this turned out not to be the sole case, we focused more on it and, through contacts with partner nongovernmental organizations (NGO) dealing with direct victim assistance across the region and beyond, we have found out that the problem has been recognized in almost all parts of the world. For this reason, we have launched this research. The research is a set of several surveys which focus on various aspects of human (child) trafficking. However, although they are heterogeneous with regard to the kind of sample they survey, according to the approach applied and to the instruments, the smallest common denominator is "scanning" of the current situation, in which the problem of human trafficking and a new communication means such as the Internet are placed in the same framework. The recruitment of trafficked victims over the Internet is a phenomenon observed in practice, and as such is a topic of the research. Therefore, this publication seeks to give a picture composed of "the pieces of a mosaic", information offered by various Internet professionals and Internet users on the possibilities to use the Internet for recruiting the victims of human trafficking. Having linked heterogeneous data, the next goal was to draw generalized conclusions and recommendations for quality, time-bound and active prevention and suppression of this dangerous social problem.
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