“Fighting trafficking in human beings is part of our work towards building a Europe that protects. Traffickers prey on people’s vulnerabilities. With today’s Strategy, we are taking a three-pronged approach, using legislation, policy and operational support and funding in tandem to reduce demand, break criminal business, and empower victims of this abominable crime”. European Commission Vice-President, Margaritis Schinas, said this as she presented a new Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025) today. Between 2017 and 2018, there were more than 14,000 registered victims within the European Union, according to a report by the European Commission. “Globally, traffickers make estimated profits of €29.4 billion in a single year. With demand for exploitation expected to continue, traffickers moving their acts online and the pandemic likely to create the conditions for increased exploitation, today’s Strategy sets out the measures that will allow the EU and its Member States to continue strengthening their response”.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, stated: “We owe the victims protection, and we need to bring to justice the perpetrators who treat human beings as a commodity. We will look at the rules in place to check if they are still fit for purpose and we will assess the possibility of criminalising the use of exploited services from trafficking victims”.