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The joint study by ECPAT International and local ECPAT member IFS-EMMAUS says that destitution, discrimination against ethnic minorities and social exclusion are fueling this crime, and that while arrests represent just the tip of the iceberg, the report says that 57 human trafficking and related cases were prosecuted in the country in , of whom 39 were child victims.
These factors especially make Roma children, who also suffer discrimination, vulnerable to being trafficked, exploited and abused. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, social prejudice often leads public sentiment to brand trafficking victims, including exploited children, as willing prostitutes and so they attract little empathy.
Trafficking of children in Bosnia Herzegovina mostly occurs within the borders of the country. But recently, there have been sporadic cases of cross-border trafficking as well, with some children trafficked to other European nations according to the report.
At the same time, the report says that the recent rapid increase in Balkan tourist arrivals has also increased the risk of child sexual exploitation.
With tourist numbers increasing by about eight percent per year in the last few years, and more than 1. But high numbers of outsiders can make it difficult for communities to monitor the safety of children.