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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                               

Kingdom of Belgium

With few natural resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets.

On the positive side, the government succeeded in balancing its budget during the 2000-2008 period, and income distribution is relatively equal.

In 2009 Belgium is likely to have negative growth, growing unemployment, and a 3% budget deficit, stemming from the worldwide banking crisis.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Belgium.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


RIGHTS OF THE CHILD - Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Ms. Ofelia Calcetas-Santos

U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-sixth session, 22 December 1999

[accessed 5 April 2011]

35. Many children who suffer such abuse in the home run away around the age of 12 or 13. They often enter prostitution shortly afterwards in order to make some money while living on the streets, and often to recreate the abuse that they have suffered throughout their lives, in circumstances in which they have control over it.

37. Despite the very different circumstances that lead these children, Belgian, immigrant or refugee, to live and work on the streets, many aspects of their future will be similar. Up to 70 per cent of them become addicted to cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, speed, or a mixture of these, and some become drug dealers to support their addiction. Other addictions include gambling, with estimates suggesting that up to 80 per cent of the children’s earnings are spent in gambling halls. A large number of such halls appeared in Brussels in 1995, and have now replaced video parks as the main places for street children to hang out.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Runaways - Where To Turn For Help Before You Are Homeless

[accessed 5 April 2011]

Here are the best phone numbers to call …They are Confidential - which means they won't tell anyone about your call unless you want them to talk to somebody for you, or you are in danger.  They are open 24 Hours - it doesn't matter what time you call  In Belgium, call 078/15 14 13

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Free full time education is compulsory from ages 6 to 16; subsequently education remains compulsory until the age of 18, but pupils may continue on a part time basis. Most children over 15 years old (more than 75 percent) finish school with a secondary diploma.

Government and private groups provided shelters for runaways and counseling for children who were physically or sexually abused. Child Focus, the government-sponsored center for missing and exploited children, reported that it handled 3,305 cases concerning 3,658 children in 2004. Approximately 40 percent of the reported cases concerned runaways.

United Fund for Belgium - Projects per category - Children and young

United Fund for Belgium

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 21 September 2011]

CHARITY OBJECTIVES - Shelter for children in difficulty … Shelter and orientation for young people in crisis … Accomm. & Guidance for Youngsters in Distress … Shelter and guidance for families and people on their own ... Lodging of 70 teenagers in psychic suffering ... Program offered to a group of school drop-outs in Brussels … etc.

Belgium's 'Missing' Migrant Children

BBC News, Shirin Wheeler, BBC Europe correspondent, 18 June, 2002

[accessed 5 April 2011]

"It was very hard.  I left Albania and came to Italy by boat, then a train to France.  I didn't eat for five days,  I slept outside.  No one would help me,” says 16-year-old Shpetim from Albania.  Appeals for information have now been issued to trace nearly 400 young migrants and asylum seekers who came to Belgium without their parents and are now missing.


(Council of Europe)

[accessed 5 April 2011]

[scroll down]

STATISTICS - Belgium has 4,000 homeless children (in the charge of homeless parents).

Industrialized Countries - Commentary

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, The Progress of Nations, 1998

[accessed 5 April 2011]

A number of cities in Belgium now tax uninhabited houses in order to discourage owners from neglecting property and speculating. In the city of Ghent, that particular initiative led to a 50 per cent decrease in the number of registered uninhabited homes in just five years.

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