Referring a child to the Assistance system for victims of human trafficking
A child who has fallen victim to human trafficking is referred to the Assistance system in the same way as an adult victim, either in writing or by telephone.
Children of trafficking victims who reside in Finland and have not been trafficked themselves are usually admitted to the Assistance system along with their parents. Any details of such children should be included in the written referral for the parent.
To make a referral by telephone, call the assistance system’s information hotline: +358 2 954 63177. All child referrals are processed urgently.
If you are referring a child aged 15 or above, you will need the child’s consent
When you refer a child to the assistance system, remember the following:
Even if only an attempt has been made to traffic a child, it is a reason for the potential child victim to be admitted to the Assistance system. It is enough to refer a child if you suspect that the child may fall victim to trafficking.
If the child is 15–17 years of age, you will need the child’s consent for a referral. You must also tell the child that they are being referred to the assistance system, taking into account the child’s age and development.
- You will need the signature of the child’s guardian or representative for the referral. If the child does not have a guardian, or the guardian is suspected of abusing the child, a repre-sentative for the child must be appointed.
The Assistance system is responsible for submitting a child welfare report, if necessary
Under the Child Welfare Act, the Assistance system must submit a child welfare report to the police, notwithstanding any secrecy provisions, if during the referral it is found that:
- The case involves suspected human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, or;
- The child victim is suspected of having become a victim of a sexual offence, in addition to other exploitation (such as exploitation of labour) or;
- It is suspected that the child has been physically abused (offence against life and health).
In addition, the Assistance system will submit a child welfare report if it is necessary to investigate the need for child welfare on account of the child’s need for care, circumstances endangering the child’s development, or the child’s behaviour.