Trafficking in women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation
Trafficking in human beings is a serious crime, usually committed in the context of organised crime, which directly attacks the fundamental rights of those who are trafficked. The Directive 2011/36/EU, adopted in 2011, aims to strengthen the prevention of this crime. It brings a comprehensive, gender and human rights approach to the fight against trafficking in human beings.
Eleven years after the adoption of this directive, detection and identification rates of human trafficking remain low and official statistics do not fully reflect the reality of this crime in Europe.
Three out of four trafficked persons in the EU are women and girls
Sexual exploitation remains the most prevalent form of trafficking in the European Union. 60% of trafficked persons are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Almost a quarter of the victims in the EU are minors. Girls account for approximately 78% of the victims. Trafficking of children is particularly serious as they may suffer severe and long-lasting physical, psychological and emotional harm. Finally, migrants are more likely to be exposed to human trafficking at various stages of asylum processes.
The culture of impunity and lack of accountability are two of the main difficulties in the fight against human trafficking. For this reason, an important aspect of the prevention of trafficking in human beings is the reduction of demand by criminalising the use of services provided by trafficked persons, in particular victims of sexual exploitation. This approach should also be accompanied by exit programmes for survivors and awareness-raising campaigns, among other measures.
You can find in the following link the European Parliament’s report on the implementation of the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting victims.