Women and girls form the vast majority of human trafficking victims, both in and outside the EU. On 2 December the EP’s women’s rights and civil liberties organised a meeting with UN and European Commission representatives to find out the latest about the situation in the world and the implementation of the EU’s strategy to eradicate human trafficking.

Trafficking within the EU

The meeting was chaired by Iratxe García Pérez, a Spanish member of the S&D group who is the chair of the women’s rights committee, and Claude Moraes, a UK member of the S&D group who is the chair of the civil liberties committee.

Myria Vassiliadou, the EU’s anti-trafficking coordinator,  presented the Commission’s mid-term report on the EU’s 2012-2016 strategy for the eradication of human trafficking. Already in April 2011 the EP and the Council adopted a directive on preventing and combating human trafficking.

According to the report, 30,146 victims were registered in the 28 EU member states in 2010-2012,  80% of them were women and girls. 69% of all victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation, and for female victims this is up to 95%. 71% of male victims are trafficked for labour.

MEPs expressed concern about human trafficking to use women as surrogate mothers and organ harvesting. Marijana Petir, a Hungarian member of the EPP group, said that trafficking was a very profitable modern form of slavery. Marek Jurek, a Polish member of the ECR group, called for tackling demand by combatting activities such as prostitution. Angelika Mlinar, an Austrian member of the ALDE group, asked what was being done to identify victims and raise awareness of their rights.

Human trafficking in the world

Kristiina Kangaspunta, the chief of the UN office on drugs and crime,  presented a report on human trafficking at a global level:  70% of victims are female and 53% of all victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation. She noted that  there was an increasing number of forced labour detections, but no major improvement for the EU in this area. 34% of trafficking happens within the same country.

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