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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                       

Republic of Estonia

Estonia, a 2004 European Union entrant, has a modern market-based economy and one of the highest per capita income levels in Central Europe.

Estonia's economy slowed down markedly and even fell into recession in mid-2008, primarily as a result of an investment and consumption slump following the bursting of the real estate market bubble.  [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 Estonia.  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.


Summary Record of the 42nd meeting of the Committee On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights - Consideration of Reports

UN Economic and Social Council, Committee On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, 25 November 2002

[accessed 12 May 2011]

32. Ms. MALVET (Estonia) said that Estonia had no clear definition of "street children" and therefore no precise statistics. If the term meant children without a home or family, there were between 100 and 200. If it meant children who spent their time in the street even though they had a home and family, there were perhaps 500.

65. The Committee had information that there might be as many as 10,000 street children in Estonia, which among other things, meant that they were effectively deprived of their right to education.


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2004

[accessed 4 February 2011]

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - The government has developed a National Strategy for Child Protection through the year 2008 that includes a national social welfare program for children and their families who need social care and educational support for at-risk children. Children considered most at-risk are street children.

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - In 1999, an estimated 100 to 200 children were homeless and living on the streets in Estonia.

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 8 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The government was committed to children's rights and welfare.  Under the law, school attendance is mandatory and free from the age of 7 until students complete basic education, generally nine years total or until they reach 17 years of age. Approximately 98.7 percent of school-age children attended school.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

[accessed 4 February 2011]

[44] The Committee is concerned at the increasing number of street children and at the lack of a systematic comprehensive strategy to address this situation and to provide these children with adequate assistance.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Estonia, U.N. Doc. E/C.12/1/Add.85 (2002)

UN Economic and Social Council, Committee On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, 29 November 2002

[accessed 12 May 2011]

20. The Committee is also concerned about the extent of the problem of street children in Estonia.

21. The Committee is further concerned that the law allows the work of children between 13 and 15 with the written consent of one parent or a guardian and the labor inspector, and that the list of permissible work includes that of an industrial nature.

Overview Of Developing Prostitution And Sexual Business In Estonia Since 1991, Estimation Of The Number Of Sex Workers


[accessed 12 May 2011]

[scroll down]

OVERVIEW OF DEVELOPING PROSTITUTION AND SEXUAL BUSINESS IN ESTONIA SINCE 1991, ESTIMATION OF THE NUMBER OF SEX WORKERS - Adolescent street children offer sexual services mostly for foreign tourists in area of harbor and big supermarkets.

Work With The Street Children Done By Center Of Pastoral Care

Soonets Ruth, Tartu Support Centre for Abused Children, 30.12.2002

[accessed 12 May 2011]

The aim of the is to help them by offering them the services of the Daily Care Center, the night shelter and Christian Children Home, thus avoiding them remaining in the streets and at the same time integrating them into the society.

NGO "Owl", That Is Working With Street Children And Children At Risk

Soonets Ruth, Tartu Support Centre for Abused Children, 17.12.2002

[accessed 12 May 2011]

The target group is children under 18 of age who have lost their home, family or safe living environment.

Consortium for Street Children

[accessed 12 May 2011]

There are still problems for street children in Estonia today, but overall conditions have greatly improved.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Estonia",, [accessed <date>]