Trafficking victims are subjected to various forms of exploitation, including forced labour, especially in the construction industry and in mining, fishing and agriculture. Domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, child soldiers, child brides and forced marriage are also forms of human trafficking.
While trafficking in human beings affects people all over the world and from all walks of life, traffickers typically target society’s most desperate and vulnerable. For example, the victims of THB are often afflicted by other challenges, including poverty, unemployment and lack of education, as well as war and natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. Meanwhile, women and children make up the vast majority of victims: according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, globally, 51% of trafficking victims are adult women, while a further 20% are girls.
In many instances, people forced into activities such as prostitution and slave labour are not immediately identifiable as victims and may be afraid to speak out and reveal their status due to fear of reprisals by the perpetrators. Furthermore, the action of forcibly moving people between countries means victims are not known to the authorities in the locations where they end up. By supporting national authorities in different ways to enable surveillance and other investigatory techniques, as well as effective information exchanges between the involved authorities, Eurojust helps authorities identify and locate victims more quickly.
As well as the support provided indirectly to victims during cases, Eurojust works closely with other EU and international institutions, including the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), to support the protection and welfare of victims of trafficking. For example, in October 2018, Eurojust participated in the EMPACT THB ETUTU meeting in Stockholm to discuss strategies to better support Nigerian victims in Europe subjected to trafficking.