IMPACT proposes to complement measures that address situations of exploitation with measures that are targeted at addressing the underlying socio-economic and structural factors that create an environment in which children are vulnerable to exploitation.

From a policy making perspective, this has three implications:

  1. national child protection systems need to be strengthened to identify and respond to all forms and contexts of exploitation and children at risk;
  2. national child protection systems need to be embedded into broader strategies for the implementation of the CRC; and
  3. due attention needs to be given to ensure that these systems are operating effectively and that national laws and policies are implemented into child rights practice.


National child protection systems hold the central responsibility for providing support and assistance to child victims and children at risk. Yet, a protection-focused response will by itself not suffice to effectively address child exploitation and trafficking. Many vital measures for the prevention of exploitation and the empowerment of children fall into the remit of policy sectors that may not be under the control of a national child protection system. They include social and economic policies, the labour market and employment, migration regime, the education and health systems, and matters of governance, such as fiscal policies, budget allocation and the rule of law. In consequence, a national child protection system can only fulfil its mandate when it is understood as an integral part of a broader system for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and when the public administration is operating effectively to make these systems work.


Against this background, IMPACT engages in a discussion of the capability of the public administrations to implement child rights standards effectively and consistently into child rights practice. Strengthening the capability of the public administration to implement is considered the key strategy for reducing the risk of exploitation, enhancing children’s resilience and offering stronger protection from exploitation and trafficking. This approach shall be considered complementary to the traditional anti-trafficking responses, proposing strong partnerships, cooperation and coordination of all the relevant sectors and actors involved.

The promotion of human rights standards and their implementation into practice is considered the foundation on which anti-trafficking responses can lead to more sustainable results. It provides an opportunity to leverage the impact of traditional anti-trafficking measures and is expected to render the precious resources invested in this field more effective.

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