Traffickers using 880,000 people as slave labour in EU
European Parliament report calls for tougher sanctions to crack down on €25bn-a-year industry
At least 880,000 people are forced to work in slave labour conditions across the European Union, part of an illicit trafficking industry worth billions of pounds to criminal gangs each year, a European Parliament committee has estimated.
Cases of slave labour have been reported across all 28 members of the bloc, with women and children particularly vulnerable to exploitation, according to the report on all aspects of organised crime, corruption and money laundering, which is due to be presented to MEPs next week.
Of the nearly one million slave labourers in the EU, 270,000 of them are trapped in a life of sexual exploitation. Trafficking and enslavement “are very lucrative forms of crime”, the report notes, with the trafficking in human beings estimated to earn criminal gangs €25bn (£21bn) a year.
High unemployment and prolonged recessions, as nations grapple with the economic crisis, have increased the dangers of exploitation, the report said, as people moving around the bloc looking for work “can sometimes provide [organised crime] with new victims”. “The economic crisis of recent years has resulted in significant changes in the areas of interest of organised crime, which has been able quickly to identify the new opportunities being offered,” it said.
It is not just the human toll worrying EU officials. Corruption and organised crime are estimated to be costing Europe’s struggling economies €670bn a year. Goods being trafficked into the EU and between member states include human organs, weapons, drugs and even nuclear substances, according to the report, which pulled together data from Interpol, Europol and the United Nations.
The action plan calls on the European Commission and member states to impose tougher sanctions on traffickers, strengthen labour inspections, and assist labour protection organisations such as unions. The report will be presented to the European Parliament next Wednesday, with the recommendations expected to go to member states for consideration next year.
“We need to stand united in the fight against mafias,” Salvatore Iacolino, an Italian MEP who drafted the proposals, said last month when the report was completed. “Now it is up to member states to follow up and bring forward the measures we are proposing here.”
Top Un: North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is Maverick as he poses with all-female pilot crew of the Anti-Air Force Unit
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete 'cheated on me' with Reeva Steenkamp, former girlfriend Samantha Taylor tells Pretoria court
Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...