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.
European Commission, EU states slow to respond to trafficking
European Commission, Together Against Trafficking Human Beings
Deutsche Welle, EU Issues report on Human Trafficking
European Commission, EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings
Cecilia Malmstrom – Huffington Post, Trafficking in Human Beings: Moving Forwards (in French)
La Croix, Trafficking in Human Beings Continues in Europe (in French)
European Women’s Lobby, Increase of trafficking in human beings in Europe: EWL supports EU Commissioner’s call for action to the Member States
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 19 April 2013
You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.