The main principle that guides La Strada in their work with children is listening to them, since the children know their own needs better than anyone else.
Children have always been part of La Strada’s activity. Initially, they were assisted as secondary beneficiaries within the anti-trafficking program. In this regard, one of the achievements of the Center was the development in 2009 of a Rapid Assessment Report ”Current practices in interviewing children victims-witnesses in the Republic of Moldova”, focused on the child trafficking phenomenon, specifically for sexual exploitation purposes. One year later, in 2010, La Strada launched the first national campaign, promoting child safety: ”Let’s protect children from sexual exploitation”, which revealed the vulnerability of children facing the sexual tourism phenomenon.
In this context, in 2012 La Strada designed a special room for interviewing children witnesses and victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, in 2013 the Center launched the platform www.siguronline.md, and in 2014 – the Child Helpline.
In its activity related to child protection, La Strada follows the international conventions in the area, that define the main principles implemented by the ratifying states. Thus, in 2007, the Republic of Moldova ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. In 2012, following the request of La Strada, the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention) was ratified. Among the national decisions in this regard, we can mention the Strategy for child protection for 2014-2020, developed with the participation of La Strada, approved by the Government in 2014.
Our strategic goal for the next 5 years is to contribute to the development, implementation and improvement of national policies and measures on child protection, making sure that the rights of children affected by online sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, as well as the rights of children at risk are protected in practice in the Republic of Moldova.