Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

In-depth understanding of the driving forces behind human trafficking

The trafficking of human beings (THB) is on the rise, despite immense efforts and financial investments to avert activities. An EU initiative adopted a holistic approach to tackling THB in order to assist a broad range of actors involved in the fight.
In-depth understanding of the driving forces behind human trafficking
Preventing and combating THB is a priority for all of Europe and high on the EU agenda. To successfully disrupt this serious crime, much more knowledge is needed on the scope of THB in Europe. To date, this knowledge has been limited by several factors, particularly the difficulty in obtaining data due to its clandestine nature.

To address this issue, the EU-funded TRACE (Trafficking as a criminal enterprise) project supported various key stakeholders in combating and disrupting human trafficking by assessing and consolidating information surrounding the perpetrators and wider THB activity.

TRACE tackled the THB phenomenon from a legal, criminological, socioeconomic, psychological and law enforcement perspective. It also built upon ongoing and related European and national projects and activities. Emphasis was placed on sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, and criminal activities.

Project partners examined gaps in Member States’ current anti-trafficking policies. They focused on perpetrator activities, and developed an understanding of the structure, social relationships, methods, travel routes and technologies associated with different types of THB.

The TRACE team analysed the political and socioeconomic aspects that contribute to THB. It also forecast the impact of any future social, political, economic and criminal trends on THB in Europe. This showed an increase in forced criminality for begging and identity fraud.

Findings were fed into policy recommendations to assist policymakers, law enforcement agencies and civil society organisations in their efforts to combat and prevent THB in Europe. Ten overarching recommendations were made in addition to the above. An accompanying handbook will also assist these stakeholders in developing tailored anti-trafficking measures.

TRACE contributed advanced knowledge in understanding THB as a business, from trafficker characteristics to factors influencing trends and existing policies. Results are particularly relevant as Europe is experiencing unprecedented numbers of migrants, some of whom are susceptible to exploitation.

Related information




Human trafficking, trafficking of human beings, TRACE, criminal enterprise
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top