Anti-trafficking experts call on Finland to do more for child victims

There's been a sharp rise in recent years in the number of victims of human trafficking detected in Finland.

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File picture to illustrate human trafficking / Credit: iStock

A group of experts at the Council of Europe is calling for Finland to do more to help victims of human trafficking, especially children, as the number of victims of trafficking triples in recent years.

In 2015 just 52 victims were detected, but that number had risen to 163 people by 2018.  The most common reason for being trafficked to Finland is labour exploitation, according to the Council of Europe.

In their new report released on Wednesday, the CoE’s Group of Experts on Action in Trafficking Human Beings GRETA commended Finnish authorities for strengthening legislation to combat trafficking and raise awareness among health care staff and social workers.

However, GRETA wants Finnish authorities to be more proactive to identify victims of human trafficking and to improve the way they share information among different agencies.

The experts also want Finland to make sure that unaccompanies and separated migrant children who come here to get effective care arrangements, including “safe and appropriate accommodation”.

One important recommendation is for Finnish police to investigate fully if migrant children go missing, and to improve their follow-up procedures when they hear reports of children who disappear.