Interpretation provided to/from EN, FR, DE, EL, ES, SV

08:15-09:00- Accessing the European Parliament & Registration

09:00-09:10- Welcoming and opening by the two organiser MEPs Mrs KUNEVA Kostadinka (GUE/NGL-SYRIZA MEP) and Mr HADJIGEORGIOU Takis (GUE/NGL-AKEL MEP) 

1st PANEL- Children in extreme danger and exploitation

–  Children for sale: Child trafficking and unaccompanied minors. The connection with child prostitution, the human organ trade and the illegal adoption market – the European dimension.
Mrs SAKELLIADOU Zoi, Office of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, European Commission

Unaccompanied child refugees: The extreme side effect of the “Fortress Europe”. Closed borders, “holes” in the refugees´ registration mechanisms and the failures for rapid family reunification, to be taken advantage of by the traffickers.
Mrs VONKEMAN Andrea, UNHCR Brussels Office

Opening doors for Europe’s children: Sheltering children, refugees and migrants – Improving children’s quality of life through deinstitutionalisation
Mrs NANOU Katerina, EUROCHILD campaign leader

– Protecting children in migration: “Gaps in EU policy and practice”

Mrs POULI Ioanna, UNICEF, Brussels Office


2nd PANEL: A new model to full and actual protection of Children´s Rights

Illegal adoptions, foster care without parental consent (Given the numerous related Petitions submitted to the EP Petitions Committee mainly by citizens of Northern Europe (Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany)).
Mrs McNEIL Sabine Kurjo, Web Publisher of the Association of McKenzie Friends and Petitioner 1707/2013

Mrs SCHEFFER Elisabeth, Legal expert, Sweden

– The right to family life: Deinstitutionalisation, foster care, temporary family-like hospitality facilities for each child who is deprived of family protection, no matter what the reason.
Mr NIKOLAIDIS Giorgos, Head of Institute of Child Health, Greece

– Children and adolescents abuse victims: a «dark» epidemic
Dr STAVRINIDES Panayiotis, Assistant Professor in Developmental Psychology-University of Cyprus

– Abandoned children: The social and political aspect of children´s abandonment according to NGOs that work and care for abandoned children.
Mrs CHRISTIDOU Melpo, Social Worker at THE SMILE OF THE CHILD, Greece


Concluding Remarks
Light Lunch

For more information please contact: [email protected]

According to United Nations and other international organisations data, out of the – approximately – 27 million victims of human trafficking and forced labour, 5.5 million are children. They are intended to be used for sexual exploitation or for forced, slave labour. Some of them is subjected to the – often lethal – removal of organs to be traded onthe illegal human organs market. Others become child-slaves, trained to join armed groups participating in armed conflicts, a widespread phenomenon, especially in African countries. Child trafficking is also used for illegal adoptions, a well-kept secret, that takes place in Europe, as well. Moreover, the ongoing refugee crisis that leaves behind thousands of unaccompanied refugee minors, some of whom are missing, is an additional fact that reveals the complicity of “Fortress Europe” dogma, leaving space for traffickers to take advantage of.
Apart from the abovementioned disgraceful phenomena, the conference aims to tackle another issue related to Children´s Rights, the inconsistencies and disparities of the EU protection model for children, in the light of numerous cases received by EP Petitions Committee. Illegal adoptions and foster care without parental consent, are often on the Agenda of PETI Committee, revealing the problematic judicial procedures that take place in EU countries.

Children´s trafficking, no matter what the reason and intention, it is not a distant EU phenomenon as it might seem. According to Eurostat, 15% of the trafficking victims identified in EU are minors. Europe is directly connected to this phenomenon in at least three ways: firstly, due to the refugee crisis and its consequences which have revealed the imperfections of the European Union's migration, refugee and asylum policy. Secondly, because a part of the global children´s trafficking takes place in the EU. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, because it is also on the EU market that products of child labour and slavery end up.