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European Parliament Says That 21 Million People Are Trafficked Worldwide

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European Parliament Says That 21 Million People Are Trafficked Worldwide
A volunteer participates in Anti Human Trafficking Day, 2010. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/wanhoff/5271199920">Thomas Wanhoff</a>

It is estimated that there are in the world today about 21 million victims of trafficking, according to the European Parliament. In addition, it evaluates that trafficking in human beings – with sexual exploitation, forced labor or other activities – move about 117 billion euros a year.

According to the UN global estimates, over 2 million people are victims of human trafficking every year. Globalization, with its enhanced flow of people, capital and information, creates risks and open spaces for transnational organized crime. Human trafficking occurs both domestically countries and internationally.

Data from the European Union Statistics Office show that between 2010 and 2012, 10,998 victims of human trafficking were identified and recorded. About 68% were subjected to forced labor and 22% sexual exploitation. The remaining 10% were victims of organ removal, domestic servitude, begging, among other abuses.

Women make up 95% of victims of sexual exploitation, while 70% of victims of forced labor are men. As for the origin of trafficked persons, 56% are from Asia and the Pacific;18% of Africa; 9% of South America and the Caribbean; 7% of the European Union and developed countries; 7% of the rest of Europe and Central Asia; and 3% of the Middle East.

The countries of the European Union (EU) most victims of trafficking are: Romania, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Hungary and Poland. Among the countries not belonging to the EU, it highlights Nigeria, Brazil, China, Vietnam and Russia.

The study, conducted with data from the member states of the EU, showed that over the three years studied (2010 to 2012), over 70% of human trafficking suspects were male and 69% were EU citizens. The document, however, ask that the data be treated with caution since not all countries were able to provide information on suspected traffickers.

In the studied period, 8,805 people were prosecuted for human trafficking and 3,855 were convicted. This type of crime affects all regions of the world, according to the study Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014 (Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014) conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Between 2010 and 2012, trafficking victims were identified 152 different nationalities in 124 countries worldwide.

The European Union has a policy against trafficking adopted in 2011 which covers the prevention, victim support and prosecution of offenders. According to the document, the practice is a serious crime, often committed in the framework of organized crime, and is a gross violation of human rights, expressly prohibited by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.