The problem of human trafficking in the European Union

09-04-2014

Although "human trafficking" has been defined at international level and criminalised throughout the EU, little is known about what is a complex crime. The EU attracts large numbers of irregular migrants, some of whom are deceived or coerced into various forms of exploitation. Moreover, EU citizens themselves are often part of the trafficking process, either as victim or as perpetrator. Whereas the prevalence of human trafficking in the EU is very difficult to assess, some estimates have been made on the basis of limited data. These point, among other things, to a high proportion of women among the victims of trafficking, especially as victims of sexual exploitation.

Although "human trafficking" has been defined at international level and criminalised throughout the EU, little is known about what is a complex crime. The EU attracts large numbers of irregular migrants, some of whom are deceived or coerced into various forms of exploitation. Moreover, EU citizens themselves are often part of the trafficking process, either as victim or as perpetrator. Whereas the prevalence of human trafficking in the EU is very difficult to assess, some estimates have been made on the basis of limited data. These point, among other things, to a high proportion of women among the victims of trafficking, especially as victims of sexual exploitation.