A report published by the European Commission shows an 18% increase in the amount of victims of human trafficking in the EU between 2008 and 2010. Whilst the number of victims has increased, convictions of traffickers have decreased by 13% over the same period.

Most victims detected in EU Member States are EU citizens, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria. Of the victims bearing citizenship outside of the EU Member States, most are from Nigeria and China.

The majority of the identified and presumed victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation (62%). 25% are trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and 14% for other forms of exploitation, such as forced begging or the removal of organs. Women remain the largest group of victims of trafficking in human beings (68%), followed by men (17%), girls (12%) and boys (3%).

Only six out of the 27 EU Member States, have fully transposed the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive with the deadline having expired on 6 April 2013. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström urged Member States  to implement the EU anti-trafficking legislation, “Today’s statistics from the European Commission show how urgent it is that each EU country implements the new EU trafficking legislation, and prioritises investigations and legal action against these crimes. With the new legislation, courts all over Europe will judge crimes relating to human trafficking as equally severe, and EU countries will provide proper support to those who have being suffering from this horrendous crime. That would be a strong and clear signal to victims that we will not let their suffering continue”.

In addition to the Anti-Trafficking Directive, the European Commission had proposed measures that complement legislation, which are to be implemented over 2012-2016.



This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 19 April 2013
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