Trafficking harms 30,000 in EU – most in sex trade
The EU says 30,146 people were registered as victims of human trafficking across the 28-nation EU in the three years to 2013.
The European Commission report says 80% of the victims were women and 69% of all those trafficked were victims of sexual exploitation.More than 1,000 child victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Two-thirds of the victims were EU citizens. Nigeria and China were the main non-EU countries of origin.The EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstroem, said EU countries had achieved much in combating “this slave trade of our time”.
But “we do not claim to have measured the full extent of trafficking”, she added, and “we must continue our work tirelessly, in Europe and beyond our borders”.
In 2010-2012, EU states prosecuted 8,551 people for human trafficking,the report said. There were 3,786 convictions.
A 2012 report by the EU justice agency Eurojust highlighted some human trafficking cases in which suspects were identified through joint cross-border police work
- Bulgarian criminals trafficked pregnant Bulgarian women to Greece. There the mothers were forced to give up their newborns for adoption to Greek couples. Six suspects from the criminal network were arrested in Bulgaria and five in Greece
- Joint Polish-UK police work uncovered a Polish criminal group that trafficked more than 200 people to the UK as part of a multi-million-pound benefit fraud. There were 29 arrests in Poland and two in London
- A Czech gang based in the UK lured Czech women to the UK and made them work as prostitutes. So far seven of the gang have been convicted.
The Commission says member states are under-using an EU law which allows them to issue temporary residence permits to non-EU victims of trafficking who co-operate with the authorities.
In 2012 EU countries granted 1,124 permits, yet in 23 member states the total of victims registered was 2,171.