The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances
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The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances

Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson

The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances looks at the role of the European Union in addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time: poverty, protectionism, climate change, and human trafficking. Contributions from ten leading scholars in the fields of economics, law, and political science provide in-depth analyses of three key dimensions of EU foreign policy, namely: the internal challenges facing the EU, as its 28 member countries struggle to coordinate their actions; the external challenges facing the EU on the global arena, in areas where global imbalances are particularly pervasive, and where measures taken by the Union can have an important impact; and the EU´s performance on the global arena, in the eyes of other key actors. Based on a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the concept of global imbalances, this book argues that these challenges follow from pervasive global imbalances, which at root are economic, political, and legal in character.
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Chapter 6: Human trafficking as a result of global imbalances: the role of the European Union

Anna Jonsson Cornell


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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