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Refugees and migrants as an easy target for trafficking and exploitation

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14336 | 07 June 2017

Ms Daphné DUMERY, Belgium, NR ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Jokin BILDARRATZ, Spain, ALDE ; Mr Seán CROWE, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Manlio DI STEFANO, Italy, NR ; Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE, United Kingdom, EC ; Ms Doris FIALA, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Sahiba GAFAROVA, Azerbaijan, EC ; Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Katrín JAKOBSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Ksenija KORENJAK KRAMAR, Slovenia, ALDE ; Mr Zviad KVATCHANTIRADZE, Georgia, SOC ; Mr Duarte MARQUES, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Judith PALLARÉS, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Ulla SANDBÆK, Denmark, UEL ; Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

In 2015, over 1 million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe after having crossed the Mediterranean Sea. Their transport, to a large extent, was assured by a network of well organised criminal networks.

Following the conclusion of the EU-Turkey agreement on 18 March 2016, the number of arrivals to Greece diminished drastically, but as many as 180 000 people took the Central Mediterranean Route and arrived in Italy in 2016. Furthermore, the profile of migrants has changed: while in previous years, young men amounted to 70% of all refugees and migrants; in 2016, women and children together constituted 60% of the total. 15% of all migrants (over 25 000) and 91% of all minors, were unaccompanied minors.

Refugees and migrants in general, particularly women and unaccompanied minors, are specific targets of organised crime. Last year, reports on the “disappearance” of 10 000 unaccompanied minors raised utmost concerns.

Criminal networks are active in many fields including transport within Europe and different kinds of exploitation such as prostitution, forced labour, and drugs, both inside and outside refugee camps. Some of them extend their activities to the countries of origin/departure of refugees and migrants.

This huge challenge for reception services of migrants and refugees as well as for the European law enforcement agencies including Europol and national forces is unfortunately not addressed in a satisfactory way due to inadequate mandates, insufficient operational methods and resources and a lack of co-operation and co-ordination.

The Parliamentary Assembly should examine more closely this urgent question, by identifying shortcomings and deficiencies at international and national levels and coming up with recommendations aimed at remedying the situation.