CHILDREN ARE IN DANGERResearches show that trafficking with juveniles grows in last two years. Police confirms existence of children trafficking, while there is growth due to sexual exploitation of youths.
Five years old Mirsada, her peer Dane and seven years old Mitat have disappeared last year and they are still gone!
Mirsada disappeared in mid April from the yard of the family house in the village of Sredorek, Kumanovo, while Dane Memedi, from the same village, disappeared fifteen days before. Interpol traces for Mitat Ibraimi, who disappeared back in March from the village of Sredno Konjare.
Minister of Interior Affairs Gordana Jankulovska denied that these children were kidnapped or are part of human organs trafficking. Having in mind that houses of these children are close to rivers, she doubts that they might have drowned into the rivers.
Young Angela Gjogjioska, who disappeared last year in July from in front of her parents’ house, is not found yet. Later, bones were found for which the Institute for Forensics confirmed that were hers, but her parents doubt about that. People from the village can not believe that Angela could go to the mountains on alone, as they are two hours walking away from her home, especially not in summer hot temperatures.
These case prompted doubt that the children have been abducted and transferred in Europe via neighboring countries in order to be sold. From the Ministry of Interior Affairs confirmed about the existence of children trafficking in the region.
“There is selling children and consciously missing to report the newborns, especially in Roma population. Most often sold children are one year and two years old,” said Sande Kitanov, investigator in the Unit for fight against human trafficking and migrants smuggling. Parents fear for their children now. For Forum, a mother from Skopje said that after the recent cases she never leaves her seven years old son playing on alone in the park in front of the building where they live. She said that those days when children could play outdoors without parents’ supervision are stories from the past.
Kitanov said that there is new trend of increased number of request for adoption in one European country. This occurrence wouldn’t be surprising if these requests weren’t about children with mental or congenital anomalies. Our Ministry investigates, as Kitanov said, if the reasons are humane or there is another purpose.
The research made by coalition “All for Fair Trial” in their project of following cases related to human trafficking showed up that in last two years the children trafficking level grows. The fact that children are recruited for sexual exploitation is shocking.
Kitanov confirmed the growth of children trafficking for sexual exploitation. He said that even 90% of all victims are at age between 14 and 17.
“In 2010, according to the unofficial statistics of the SOS helpline for children and youths, the situation remains the same and there are about 16 reported cases of sexual abuse and pedophilia,” from the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi said.
From First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi they say that on the helpline this year were reported few cases in which parents sexually exploited their own daughters, offering their sexual services to adults.
Macedonia was shocked by the case from Stip in which young girls were forced to prostitute by famous businessmen. The trial has not started yet, because the charged were not able to attend it due to psychological issues. Court set free few of them in order to defend from freedom, but they escaped.
Children are in danger at home as well. With the development of IT, they can reach the whole world, but they can be reached as well. On the Facebook social network children publish their own photos and data. Not being aware of the risk, their parents do the same. However, the social networks are ideal for recruitment of the potential victims. Everyone can sign up for Facebook profile, without any limits, with information for himself, as preferred. There are situations in which adult recruiters make fake Facebook profile and present themselves as juveniles. Then start to socialize with “peers,” until the moment when the victim agrees for a meeting. This recruiting model is well known in the world, but is often used here as well.
Kitanov explained that in their unit there are two employees who work exclusively with internet, suspicious ads and everything that is potential danger for human trafficking.
“Awareness about this issue has risen. People thought that it always happens to someone else. They weren’t aware enough that anyone can be victim and that’s why we were working seriously on campaigns for raising awareness,” Kitanov said.
According to international organizations and NGOs the most common factors which lead to human trafficking are poverty, dysfunctional families, lack of education, and great demand for child labor, illegal adoption and pedophilia.
From the Children’s Embassy Megjashi they say that after every single report on the SOS helpline for children and youths they contact the relevant institutions immediately in order to make immediate check of the situation and take all the necessary measures for solving of the problem.
“First Children’s Embassy in the World Magjashi lobbied actively for harder punishment of pedophiles, asking for sentence from minimum of 15 years in prison to prison in life. Our efforts of advocacy and lobbying paid off, and the Ministry of Justice and the Government and the sentence for sexual abuse of children committed by adult was increased to ten years in prison, while committing this kind of crime in outrageous way or committing this crime by more offenders or in cases when the victim has gained severe injuries the sentence could be prison in life,” from Megjashi comment.
All the relevant institutions claim that they constantly fight with the human and children trafficking. But, parents of Mitat, Dane and Mirsada doubt that their children have been sold, and as they say, they live hoping that they will come back or the children feel better wherever they are.
Bulgaria – new baby market
Statistics from National Commission for Fight against Human Trafficking show that two regions in Bulgaria have become human trafficking market, or baby trafficking, while the buyers are mostly from Greece. According to the same source, a newborn girl’s price in Greece is 14.000 euros, while male newborns are sold for 16.000 to 18.000 euros. There was practice the girl to leave her hometown during the pregnancy. However, most of the “mothers – sellers” don’t get the whole of the agreed amount of money, but only a small part. Media from Sofia informed that the baby selling in Bulgaria is growing and the price was 7.500 euros. Young mothers, high school or college students who recently enrolled sell their babies. The selling pattern is simple, as Bulgarian media informed, the “new father” gives the money to the mother and report the child as his.
In Serbia, according to the statistics of NGO sector, the child trafficking grows constantly since 2004. They say that in Serbia there’s no strategy for protecting the children from trafficking, pedophilia and prostitution and there are no shelters for children – victims.
According to the United Nations Fund, countries with world’s highest rate of children trafficking are China, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Translate by Petar Todorovski