Hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked into the EU or within the EU every year. Women and men, boys and girls in vulnerable positions are traded for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation, removal of organs, begging, domestic servitude, forced marriage, the exploitation of criminal activities, illegal adoption as well as other forms of exploitation.
Coordinated initiatives are needed at EU and national levels to efficiently address this appalling phenomenon. Following the appointment of the EU Anti-trafficking Coordinator and the entry into force of the new EU Directive on trafficking in human beings, the Commission adopted today the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016), a set of concrete and practical measures to be implemented in the next five years. This strategy takes a comprehensive approach: it includes prevention, protection and support of the victims, as well as prosecution of the traffickers. It involves a wide range of players, including EU countries, institutions and agencies, international organisations, third countries, civil society and the private sector.