Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
Chapter 6: Human trafficking as a result of global imbalances: the role of the European Union
Human trafficking is defined in international law as a crime that involves the use of force or coercion for the purpose of exploiting a person within the sex industry, for forced labour or in other slavery-like practices (Palermo Protocol – United Nations, 2000). According to estimates by the International Labour Organization (ILO), 21 million people globally were subjected to forced labour or forced prostitution between 2002 and 2011. Of these, 5.5 million are estimated to have been children (ILO, 2012). According to the Global Slavery Index 2014, 35.6 million men, women and children are estimated to be trapped in modern slavery (The Walk Free Foundation, 2014). Statistics from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC, 2014) show that in 53 per cent of cases human trafficking is for sexual purposes, 40 per cent is for forced labour and the rest (i.e., 7 per cent) is for such purposes as trafficking in human organs and other forms of exploitation. Trafficking of people for forced labour is steadily increasing globally, although in Europe trafficking for sexual purposes is still the main form of exploitation (66 per cent).
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