The message from the EEA and Norway Grants conference on trafficking in human beings is clear: Protection of victims and securing their rights come first.
More than 200 experts from all over Europe gathered in Warsaw 26-27 November to take part in the conference which was co-organised between the Governments of Poland and Norway, Council of Europe and the International Organisation for Migration.
The statistics speak for themselves: Several hundred thousand women, men and children are victims of trafficking in Europe every year, and the number is rising.
According to a recent report from Eurostat, there has been 18 % increase in the number of trafficking victims within the EU from 2008 to 2010. Six out of ten victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation, while one out of four are trafficked for forced labour:
- 68% of victims are women
- 17% men
- 15% children
Human trafficking is among the worst forms of human rights abuse, destroying the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. The victims often suffer physical, emotional and psychological abuse and mistreatment.