END-Trafficking: Research and Policies for Overcoming Sex Trafficking of Youth in Today's World.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:30
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Guiomar MERODIO, University of Barcelona, Spain
Lidia PUIGVERT, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Maria de los Angeles SERRANO, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Data at European level shows that 56% of registered trafficking victims were aged between 12 and 25 years old, being the 17% of them minors (EUROSTAT, 2015). Indeed, the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012–2016 considers children and young adults trafficking victims as particularly vulnerable groups. The concern for preventing and combating this phenomenon is growing among the main authorities at international level as well as within the scientific community which is evidenced by the inclusion of this priority in some of the most important European research programmes. The literature review on trafficking for sexual exploitation mainly focus on the conditions and elements related to the system, as the global and deeper problems that cause the trafficking of young girls for sexual purposes. Nevertheless, scientific literature also points to social relations and interactions as pivotal elements in the entry of youths into sex trafficking networks. Therefore contributing to create safe public spaces for youth is also crucial for combating trafficking for sexual exploitation. In this regard, this paper gathers the main results achieved in the project END-TRAFFICKING: Changes and social innovations for the prevention and reduction of trafficking of women for sexual exploitation (2014-2016) funded by The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness from the Spanish Government. END-TRAFFICKING provides evidence-based strategies and recommendations for preventing sex trafficking among young girls through the analysis of life trajectories of young women and girls victims and/or potential victims of trafficking with particular emphasis in the role of social networks, friendships, peers and social interactions. The findings resulting from the project contribute to theories and practice knowledge around creating safety for youth and attempt to have social and political impact in order to combat sex trafficking of youth.