Sunday Oct 20, 201907:28 AM GMT
EU home to 270,000 human-trafficking victims
Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:21PM
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The alarming rise in the number of human trafficking victims in the European Union has prompted the United Nations to issue a request for increased efforts in combating the illegal trade.

The United Nations announced on Sunday that estimates showed there could be around 270,000 victims of human trafficking in the EU, while authorities in the 27-nation bloc said only a small percentage of the figure had been brought to their attention.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which disclosed the startling findings on European Anti-Trafficking Day, expressed concern that a 2006 report had only estimated 9,000 victims — 30 times less than the revised figure.

EU Anti-Trafficking Day aims to raise awareness for victims and people affected by the human smuggling trade and the plights they face, ranging from forced slavery and hard labor to prostitution and going through sexual abuse.

While 10 percent of the victims are minors, the majority of trafficking victims are women who are forced into prostitution, according to the agency.

A damning UNODC report titled “Trafficking in Persons: Analysis on Europe” also shows that on average, less than 1 in 100,000 people are being convicted for human trafficking in Europe than "for rare crimes like kidnapping."

The report goes on to blame the police for lack of action.

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