Many children are traced on the streets of Greek cities, begging or selling products under the guidance of their family, relatives or third parties while many unaccompanied children are victims of neglect, exploitation or trafficking. New groups of trafficked children are now promoted to the “market” from newly emerged EU countries such as Bulgaria and Romania as EU citizens while the trafficking and exploit of children from Albania is extensively done by their parents who are using their children as means of financial survival, making them beg in the streets of Greece. The physical and psychological health of these children is in danger, while their rights are violated. In their vast majority, they are not recognized as victims of trafficking or neglect as they are accompanied by their relatives and their being promoted to working or begging is socially acceptable. This promotion to begging or working is often the pre stage to sexual exploitation, drug trafficking and the development of criminal activity. In order to deal with the phenomenon of children trafficking, it is essential to find out more about it through research and through streetwork approach of these children.
ARSIS has vast experience in the field of anti-trafficking of children from past projects while it has an established network of organizations at a European Level.A very important project has been Reveni” which involved actions for improving the level of protection of, and decisions taken for European unaccompanied minors victims of exploitation and/or trafficking, or at risk to be, in Europe through professional exchanges, monitoring, research, awareness raising, collection and dissemination. “MARIO project” was very influential involving a joint effort of influential NGOs in the field of child protection, to enforce better protection of migrant children in Europe and put pressure on European and national decision-makers to better protect children from exploitation, abuse and trafficking while “NATHALIE”, aimed at confronting the phenomenon of trafficking and economic exploitation of children, while TACT which has been running for several years produced important needs in relation to tracking and approaching Albanian children on the street. June 2012 estimates from the International Labour Organisation put the number of victims of forced labour, including forced sexual exploitation, at 20.9 million at a global level. 5.5 million of these are children. There is thus a great need at a European level to protect children at risk and to support children victims of trafficking.