800 Thousand Trafficking Victims in Europe Annually

London MEP resolute in her determination to end human trafficking

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Marina Yannakoudakis MEP

Conservative MEP for London

marina.yannakoudakis @europarl.europa.eu

Tel: 020 8445 8055


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Recent events concerning human trafficking have made current efforts by the European Parliament in combatting the trade ever more important.

Yesterday it came to light that five people have been convicted of trafficking over 50 Hungarian women through London airports and for selling them into sex slavery. In addition, it was reported that a 34 year old man living in horrific forced labour conditions suffered regular beatings at the hands of a British family. Cases like these have highlighted just how close to home the problem of human trafficking is.

Commenting on the issue, London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis said "These cases reveal just how close to home modern slavery is taking place! To combat modern slavery more awareness and vigilance is needed to recognise and help protect those who have their freedom and lives taken from them by force."

Marina has been working to raise awareness of the signs of human trafficking in the hope that more people will come forward and help the authorities track down traffickers and free victims. She will be working with the UK Home Office to ensure no victim is left behind.

Speaking on identifying the signs, Marina said "Signs of trafficking and exploitation include: people who are withdrawn: people without personal, social, or medical records; people who don’t deal directly with anyone but always through a third party; people who are never seen leaving their premises on their own: and people who may disappear for long periods of time. Labourers may not be able to provide receipts. And although the trafficking of organs is illegal in the UK, when going abroad for a transplant it is important to check that there is a transparent and legal chain of records of how the donation was made."

The UK government has been working hard to tackle the issue, bringing forward a Modern Slavery Bill to crack down on traffickers.

But the UK cannot act alone. European-wide efforts are needed to eradicate the trafficking of humans. It is estimated that there are as many as 800,000 victims across Europe each year.

Marina believes that “only by increasing awareness amongst potential victims, police, social welfare workers, immigration officers and the public can we deliver an effective and lasting assault against human trafficking in the UK and Europe.”

January 9, 2014