Human trafficking: nearly 16,000 victims in the EU

Learn more human trafficking in the EU on the occasion of the EU's Anti-Trafficking Day on Wednesday 18 October.

Check out our infographic for details

EU countries reported 15,846 victims of human trafficking between 2013 and 2014, 76% of which were women and girls, according to a European Commission report. However, the actual number of victims could be far higher than the ones reported.

Two out of three (67%) registered victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation; 21% for other types of forced labour and 12% for other reasons such as begging, organs removal or domestic servitude. The majority of identified victims are from an EU country.

Parliament's role

MEPs adopted an anti-trafficking directive in 2011, covering anything from prevention, to victims support and the prosecution of offenders.

In 2016 MEPs assessed current European legislation to combat human trafficking and recommended several measures to improve the situation in two resolutions adopted in May and July. MEPs called on EU countries to better implement existing laws and provide better support to victims.

Learn more about the progress made in the fight against human trafficking since 2011 in this European Commission report.

The global situation

About 21 million people are believed to be victims of forced labour. Many are also victims of trafficking, the majority for sexual exploitation. Women and girls comprise more that 70% of the total estimated victims in the world.