In 2010-2012, European member states registered 30,146 victims of human trafficking, 1,000 of them sexually-exploited children. A third of the victims were European Union passport-holders. The figures were revealed on Friday 17 October by European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström when she unveiled a report on the victims and perpetrators of human trafficking. Over the same period, 8,551 prosecutions against traffickers were reported across the EU. Eighty percent of the victims were female.

The Commissioner reminded member states of their duties and asked Belgium and Germany to finalise transposition of the 2011 EU Anti-trafficking Directive. The two countries are the only member states which have not yet notified transposition of the directive.

“With the adoption of the EU Anti-trafficking Directive in 2011, courts all over Europe are now judging crimes relating to human trafficking as equally severe, with common prison sentences, and EU countries are obliged to provide proper support to victims.”- explains the Commission.

In a separate report published on the same day, the Commission reports on the application of Directive 2004/81/EC that regulates the granting of a residence permit to non-EU victims of trafficking who cooperate with the authorities for the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. The Commission comments that available figures show that the option of issuing temporary residence permits to non-EU victims is currently under-used. For example, in 2012, only 1,124 first residence permits were granted in the EU to victims who cooperated with the authorities, whereas for that very same year 23 member states registered 2,171 non-EU citizens as victims of trafficking.

(Source: Brussels, Agence Europe)