New Europol report on child trafficking

Europol launched a new report about child trafficking. It provides a comprehensive view on who the victims are and who the criminal networks are that trafficking the children in and into the EU. 

This report provides an in-depth picture of the features of criminal networks involved in one of the most ominous crimes of all – the abuse of vulnerable children. For the purpose of the report, operational intelligence from almost 600 contributions  involving trafficked underage victims was used, all of which were reported to Europol by the Member States between 2015 and 2017.

In Europe, thousands of minors continue to be trafficked and exploited to generate profits for criminal networks, accounting for over 20% of all identified victims of trafficking according to UNICEF . Europol increasingly receives information on trafficking networks operating across Member States, taking advantage of the vulnerability of children to sexually exploit them and to abuse them in labour exploitation. Other criminal groups place victims on the streets to beg for money, force them to commit various types of crimes, sell them through illegal adoption schemes and defraud the welfare state.

Exploited children in vulnerable situations deserve to be protected more than anyone else. This report draws on months and years of investigation and information exchange between devoted national anti-trafficking units in the Member States and Europol to  draw the most up-to-date intelligence picture of this heinous crime”, said Europol’s Executive Director Catherine De Bolle. “Together with EU Member States, we will build on the finding of this report to better support future investigative actions at both national and EU-level against trafficking of the weakest social category of all – vulnerable children

"Trafficking of minors is the lowest and most vile crime against those who need our protection most. On EU Anti-Trafficking Day, this report shows once again that we cannot close our eyes to what is happening on EU soil and outside.”, commented the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos. “Together with Member States and the support of Europol we must continue fighting to eradicate this heinous exploitation and abuse of children."

Released on the occasion of the EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October, this report is produced in the framework of the EU Policy Cycle for Organised Crime and Serious International Crime.

More details and context can be found in the report itself. Download the report.

Publication Date: Thu 18 Oct 2018
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