Human trafficking is the fastest growing form of organised crime and is placed third behind narcotics and arms trafficking as the largest transnational crime profit source.
Trafficking and smuggling for labour exploitation purposes has become a global pandemic, affecting almost every country whether as a source, a transit or a destination country. Estimates count at least 2.4 million trafficked people, half of them are minors. Yet there are only a few thousands convictions of traffickers every year.
The issue of trafficking for sexual exploitation is currently high on the political agenda. However, other forms of trafficking for labour exploitation purposes are increasingly coming in the forefront. We are only now beginning to scratch the surface of smuggling and trafficking for exploitation in areas such as domestic service, agriculture, sweatshops or construction.
Traffickers take advantage of the ignorance of migrant workers and the many constraints they have to face. The core features of trafficking are always the same: control and exploitation of a human being by use of force, threats or the vulnerability of the victim.
Member states should invest more resources in fighting against smuggling and trafficking for labour exploitation purposes. Indeed, most of the victims are never identified and thus never receive justice. Unfortunately, the more resources you allocate, the more victims you find.
Considering the huge need for information, statistics and research on this subject, the Parliamentary Assembly should prepare a report on this important issue.