COVID-19 pushed victims of child trafficking and exploitation into further isolation

Date: 6th August 2020
Category: Special protection measures

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A new report by Save the Children has highlighted how the COVID-19 crisis has changed criminals’ usual models of trafficking and exploitation used on children and young people.

Criminal groups have changed the pattern of sexual exploitation, which is now operating less on the streets and more indoors or online. According to the European Commission, the demand for child pornography has increased by up to 30% in some EU Member States during COVID-19 lockdown.

Globally, lockdown has limited the movement of victims and their opportunity to meet other people, find help or flee. At the same time, the closure of schools has pushed many children onto the streets in search of food or income, exposing them to the risk of being exploited or becoming victims of trafficking. The increased reliance on online communications during lockdowns has increased the risk of falling victim to online sexual predators. At the same time, lockdown measures have left many support services facing greater challenges to provide the same levels of assistance they offered prior to the pandemic.

  • Read the full report here.