Human Trafficking in Europe a 2.4 Billion Euro Industry

In Europe, trafficking in humans is a 2.4 billion euro industry. This is according to a new report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime:

At any one time, over 140,000 victims are trapped in this vicious cycle of violence, abuse and degradation across Europe with no clear sign of the overall number of victims decreasing. There is a high turnover of 50 per cent of trafficking victims in Europe with up to 70,000 additional victims being exploited every year.

Eighty four per cent of the victims in Europe are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Up to one of every seven sex workers in Europe could be enslaved into prostitution through trafficking. Victims are generally duped, mislead or forced into the service of criminal businesses which subdue and coerce their victims trapping them in a “bubble” of suppression and abuse which is difficult to escape.

The vast majority of victims are generally young women who are subjected to rape, violence or the threat of violence, drugged, imprisoned, have debt imposed on them, have their passport confiscated, blackmailed, subjected to false promises of employment or become victims of feigned love.

In Europe over half of the victims come from the Balkans (32 per cent) and the former Soviet Union (19 per cent), with 13 per cent originating in South America, seven per cent in Central Europe, five per cent in Africa and three per cent in East Asia. Although victims from Eastern Europe tend to be found throughout Europe, victims from South America tend to be concentrated in several European countries. East Asian victims have also been increasingly detected in many European countries and in some countries are the top group being exploited.