Bulgaria Ranks among Top 5 in EU by Number of Victims of Trafficking in People

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 19, 2016, Thursday // 16:19
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Ranks among Top 5 in EU by Number of Victims of Trafficking in People Photo BGNES

Bulgaria is among the EU countries with the greatest number of registered victims of trafficking in human beings, according to a new report by the European Commisson.

The EU executive on Thursday published its first Report on progress in the fight against trafficking in people since the adoption of the EU Anti-trafficking Directive in 2011.

The report finds that in 2013-2014, 15,846 women, men, girls and boys were registered as victims of trafficking (both identified and presumed) in the EU by national authorities. However, the actual number of victims is likely to be substantially higher due to the complexity of reporting on this phenomenon, according to the Commission.

According to the report, trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is still the most widespread form (67% of registered victims), followed by trafficking for labour exploitation (21%). The other 12% were registered as victims of trafficking for other forms of exploitation.

Seventy-six percent of the registered victims were women, while at least 15% were children.

Sixty-five percent of registered victims were EU citizens with Romania, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Poland leading the list of EU countries with the greatest number of registered victims in 2013-2014. The same five countries had also led the list in 2010-2012, the Commission said.

Nigeria, China, Albania, Vietnam and Morocco were the top five non-EU countries of citizenship of registered victims of trafficking in human beings.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, commented in the statement: "It is morally and legally unacceptable and inexcusable that in the EU of the 21st century, there are human beings who are bought, sold and exploited like commodities. It is our personal, collective and legal duty to stop this.”

To address the issue, the EU countries need to fully and correctly implement the the EU Anti-trafficking Directive in order to increase the number of investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators, establish appropriate mechanisms for the early identification and protection of victims and enhance measures to prevent the trafficking of human beings, the Commission said.

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Tags: Bulgaria, European Commission, trafficking, human beings, women, children, Avramopoulos, exploitation
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