[Finland] Numerous Child Victims of Human Trafficking in Finland – and Many More Cases Remain Undetected

21 Mar 2019

According to a recent report by the National Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking and the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI), human trafficking is present in Finland, affecting both Finnish children, and migrant and refugee children. Some of the worse forms of trafficking include sexual abuse, forced criminal activity, and forced marriages. According to the report, 'Between 2006 and 2018, 55 children (under 18) and 141 young persons (18 to 21) have been given assistance under the assistance system for victims of human trafficking'. Detecting human trafficking cases, however, remains a big challenge.

Veikko Mäkelä, the project manager, noted 'because cases of human trafficking do not always come to the attention of the authorities, it is likely that there are many more child victims than are shown in official statistics. What makes detection difficult is that human trafficking is often understood as something separate from other kinds of abuse, such as the commercial sexual exploitation of children, even though these phenomena are actually very closely linked'.

The report highlights, however, a few measures to be implemented in order to address the situation, with a main focus on providing more training for authorities and those working with children on human trafficking, as well as improving multidiscipline cooperation.



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