Many of the victims of violence, abuse and human trafficking are children who have experienced the trauma of many forms of abuse, sexual, physical and emotional.They may have physical illness or psychological problems as a result of their experiences. It is important to understand their needs and to respond to them appropriately. We should try to stop children being further abused after they are found. Shelters, repatriation and reintegration programmes often are in themselves abusive to the children that they should be protecting.
All professionals and helpers should abide by the UNICEF Guidelines for the Protection of the Rights of Children Victims of Trafficking in Southeastern Europe and the principles of protection and respect for human rights set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
When we sit down to talk with a child, it may be the first time that the child has been really listened to, and this is a chance to establish trust and rapport, to validate the child’s experience, and begin to heal the hurts of the past. We need to be sensitive, patient, professional, empathic, and willing to be open to the child’s account of their experiencing, told in their own way.
HOW TO USE THIS HANDBOOK
This handbook is intended to be used as a training resource, as a source of information, and to provide references for future reading and research.
The handbook contains information for skills training, for example, the qualities of a good listener, and the skills required to communicate effectively with children. It contains exercises that can be done alone and in groups, which will help to develop these skills, and suggestions for workshops and training. There is additional information included in the handbook relevant to communication with children, including child development, human rights, and other topics which can be included in training.
The handbook can be used as a reference book. If you need more help with a particular problem, for example, the effect of posttraumatic stress on children, memory, or difficulty in communicating with a child, consult the index and find the section of the handbook for ideas and information.
References for further research
The handbook contains references to the research of others. The footnotes indicate research and other works which can be explored to gain further detailed information on specific topics. For teaching purposes, the references are also set out in the Bibliography at the end of the handbook.
Read more here.