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Migration and Home Affairs

Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings

Trafficking in human beings is a crime that should have no place in today’s society. It destroys individuals’ lives by depriving people of their dignity, freedom and fundamental rights. It is often a violent crime committed by organised crime networks.

Facts about trafficking in human beings

More than half of the victims of trafficking in the EU are EU citizens, and a significant number of them are trafficked within their own country. However, non-EU victims have increased in recent years and in some EU countries, they outnumber domestic victims and victims with an EU citizenship. The majority of victims in the EU are women and girls who are mainly trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Around every fifth victim of trafficking in the EU is a child.

The most common forms of trafficking in the EU are sexual exploitation and labour exploitation. Most traffickers in the EU are EU citizens and nearly three quarters of perpetrators are men.

Links with organised crime

This crime brings high profits to criminals and carries with it enormous human, social and economic costs. Trafficking in human beings is often linked with other forms of organised crime such as migrant smuggling, drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, document fraud, payment card fraud, property crimes, cybercrime and other.

This complex criminal phenomenon continues to be systematically addressed in a wide range of EU policy areas and initiatives from security to migration, justice, equality, fundamental rights, research, development and cooperation, external action and employment to name a few.

Learn about EU Anti-trafficking actions

Legal and Policy Framework

A comprehensive EU approach to fight trafficking in human beings is anchored in the EU Anti-trafficking Directive, and complemented by the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025).

EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator

The EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator is responsible for improving coordination and coherence among EU institutions, EU agencies, Member States and international actors, and for developing existing and new EU policies to address Trafficking in Human Beings.

Intensifying a coordinated response

Part of the mandate of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator is to foster cooperation and policy coherence, including the EU Networks of the National Rapporteurs and Equivalent Mechanisms, the EU Civil Society Platform and the cooperation with the EU Agencies.

EU countries

This section provides comprehensive information on how each EU country, tackles, prevents and identifies instances of trafficking in human beings.

Publications

This section provides an overview of relevant publications and studies on EU anti-trafficking actions.