IOM Joins Frontex Operation to Counter Child Trafficking

Moldova – VEGA Children is Frontex's activity to combat child trafficking at air borders. A staff member from IOM Georgia has been deployed at Chisinau airport for one month (05 October-03 November 2021) to support border guards at the airport, together with the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps, in detecting trafficked children on the move. This activity aimed to raise attention on the phenomenon of child trafficking at air border crossing points (BCP). Identification of children on the move at risk requires alertness and in-depth knowledge of the phenomenon and newly emerging forms of exploitation.

The main tool is the Frontex VEGA children's handbook which contains information that helps law enforcement officers in the identification of children on the move, ensuring respect for their rights and enhancing actions against criminal threats to their wellbeing. VEGA Children is a Frontex operation to help front-line border guards to recognize signs of human trafficking. This collaboration is a good reminder of how important it is to join forces against this menace and respond to it.

“Identification of presumed victims of trafficking in human beings at BCPs is difficult. Due to the pressure of incoming flights and passenger security checks, it is challenging for border guards to focus enough to identify all the signs of possible victims of trafficking. It is important to strengthen capacity and efforts to spot suspicious factors, that are not only linked to travel and identity documents, but also to passenger behaviour. Special effort needs to be put in the identification of children, who might be victims of trafficking as border crossing points might be their only chance to meet law enforcement authorities before becoming out of reach and invisible,” - said Mariam Tokmazishvili, IOM Georgia Migrant Resource Centre Coordinator.


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