Human Trafficking: A case for deeper European integration

Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Photo: Ira Gelb on flickr. During the International Convention on the Abolition of Slavery and Slave Trade of 1926, a global consensus was found which created international standards for the protection of human rights. However, Dr. Ed Bates, co-author of International Human Rights law warns us that enforcing these standards is a different story altogether. This becomes more than apparent when one looks at statistics on human trafficking. Worldwide it is estimated that traffickers annually make a 32 billion dollar profit, with 20.9 million forced labourers, of which 880.000 are within the borders of the EU. This equates to 1.8 person per 1000 inhabitants being caught up in human trafficking. Still, if we put these numbers into a global perspective, the EU accounts only for 4.2% of the total number of human trafficking cases. But the question of how well the EU is faring in its battle against human trafficking can still be raised.

by Benny Wilbrink