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Tipping Points to Turning Points: How can programmes and policies better respond to the risks of child trafficking and exploitation on the Central Mediterranean Route?

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Save the Children International,Save the Children Switzerland

It has become common practice the world over for children fleeing from various forms of violence, insecurity, and desperate poverty to engage smugglers to help them on their journey to what they hope will be a safer and more sustainable future. Desperate families scrape together precious funds to pay smugglers to safely transport their children and navigate international borders toward a more promising life. Tragically, many of these children are subject to an accumulation of risks and are unable to cope, gradually increasing the likelihood of trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

Save the Children worked with Samuel Hall Consultants to conduct research to understand how practitioners and policymakers can reduce the risk of child trafficking and exploitation. The research was conducted across the East Africa Central Mediterranean route, through Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt as part of Save the Children’s work on the East African Migration Routes project, mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC). Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Tunisia were among the top ten countries of origin of migrants reaching European shores in the first half of 2021. More than 200 individuals, including children, community members, practitioners and experts participated in the research.

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