Separated and Trafficked Children in the Baltic Sea Region
Best practices and Co-operation
Vilnius 14th –16th of September 2003
With financial support from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs an NGO-conference
will be held in Vilnius the 14th -16th of September 2003.
The aim of the conference is to strengthen the co-operation between the different NGOs in
the region regarding national as well as international co-operation for all separated and
trafficked children and through this improve co-operation in all aspects of the assessment,
care and re/integration of the children. The Conference will include exchange of experiences
and best practices both on the practical support level and on the level of policy development
Good models of work will be presented and gaps in the co-operation between NGOs and
between NGOs and governments will be identified.
Background: Boys and girls without parental care who come alone across the borders in the
region of the Baltic Sea States are all in a highly vulnerable situation. Some of these children
come from distant countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia, some are in transit, while
others directly apply for asylum. Children from several states in the region are in a country
not their own on tourist visas. Some of these children have been trafficked.
Separated children applying for asylum in some countries in the region disappear from
reception centres without these centres knowing what have happened to them. Some children
are used in criminal activities while waiting to get their asylum application processed and
some are exploited sexually during this time.
Overall the exploitation that many separated boys and girls suffer, due to their extremely
exposed situation is unacceptable and ending this must be of high priority for all co-operation:
intergovernmental, interagency as well as NGO-co-operation
The 10th and 11th of February 2003 senior officials from member countries in the Council of
the Baltic Sea States plus Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova, the EU, IOM, UNHCR and some
representatives from the NGO sector met to discuss the issue of interministerial and
interagency co-operation for improved assessment, care and reintegration of separated
children within and from the region.
The Chairman’s conclusion from this meeting gave a strong recommendation to continue the
multilateral cooperation to improve the situation for these children. (The report from the
meeting can be downloaded from http://childcentre.baltinfo.org)
A Plan of action regarding unaccompanied children from the region of participating states will
be elaborated by the Working Group on Children at Risk within the Council of the Baltic Sea
States and this plan will include the role of the NGO sector.
Target group of the conference:
Some 80 professionals from NGOs in the region, both practitioners and policy makers,
NGOs from Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania,
Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Sweden and Ukraine will be invited.
During the conference the following themes and roles will be discussed:
Awareness raising as well as practical support
Root causes to the problems; preventive work
Reception/integration in the host country
Reintegration/rehabilitation in the country of origin
Four parallel working groups will be established to discuss different related topics.
Background papers on the main conference themes will be sent out in August to the
Financial support for participants
Accommodation at the conference venue in Vilnius will be paid for attending NGO
Limited contribution for travel costs is available. Some hotel rooms are booked from the 13th
of September for those of you who want to arrive on Saturday the 13th in order to make use of
cheaper flights. Some hotel rooms are also booked for the 16th of September.
The conference is planned and organised by Save the Children Sweden in co-operation with
Swedish Red Cross, ECPAT Sweden, Caritas, Kvinnoforum, and Gelbekeit Vaikus (Save the
Children in Lithuania). The Working Group for Co-operation on Children at Risk within the
Council of the Baltic Sea states has been contributing to the planning of the conference.
Host of the conference; Save the Children in Lithuania, (Gelbekeit Vaikus)
Accomodation: Hotel Artis , Vilnius,
Conference language: English and Russian with simultaneous translation .
Questions: Eva Larsson Bellander, Save the Children Sweden, ph. +4 68 698 9069.
I would like to attend the NGO Conference
Separated and Trafficked Children in the Baltic Sea
Region - Best practices and Co-operation
on September 14-16, 2003 in Vilnius, Latvia
Tel. no: _____________________________ Fax no: _________________________
Arrival date: ___________________________________________________________
Departure date: _________________________________________________________
Special kind of food: _____________________________________________________
Accommodation: Hotel Artis, Vilnius. Central booking will be done.
Mail the application form to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send by fax: +46 8 698 90 12.
Postal address: Save the Children Sweden, att: Laijla Sjölander, 107 88 Stockholm, Sweden.
Please note that last date for application is August 11, 2003.
For information: Eva Larsson Bellander, tel +46 8 698 90 69 (conference program)
Laijla Sjölander, tel +46 8 698 91 11 (application)