Posted on 17 May 2021
The Western Balkan Six (WB6) have historically not been at the centre of attention and research investigating commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Despite a growing body of literature on human trafficking in south-eastern Europe generally, there is little data on CSEC specifically.
This report assesses children’s vulnerability to CSEC across the WB6 and focuses specifically on online sexual exploitation of children and sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT). It also provides an overview of what law enforcement authorities, private companies and civil society organizations are doing – and what they are not doing – to respond to, combat and prevent the various manifestations of CSEC.
The report first assesses the current situation in the WB6 and provides an overview of child marriage, SECTT and tech-facilitated CSEC. It also looks specifically at the profile of children at risk (including Roma children and children on the move), the perpetrators of CSEC and the impact of COVID-19. The second part of the report then examines the current responses to CSEC. It outlines the child protection infrastructure by law enforcement authorities and the criminal justice systems, and also assessing the individual support mechanisms provided by civil society across the region and the role of the private sector, especially of internet service providers (ISPs) and the hospitality industry.