Trafficking of minors in Europe and Asia: tackling a common challenge

17 September 2014

Human trafficking entails the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation. It has become a global criminal phenomenon, affecting at least 2.5 million people across the world and generating billions of euros in illicit profits for organised crime organisations. Minors are a particularly vulnerable target, representing around almost 20% of all trafficking victims, but providing the majority of trafficked individuals in some parts of Western Africa and the Mekong region. While most trafficking takes place on a national or regional scale, long-distance trafficking occurs as well, including from Asia to Europe. Such a widespread challenge to human security requires comprehensive policies at home and increased cooperation at international level. This event explored what socio-economic roots and legal challenges can be identified at national and regional level in Europe and Asia? What lessons learnt and best practice can be highlighted and further shared among policy makers, experts and civil society organisations alike? How can Europe and Asia cooperate more in order to reduce the vulnerability of victims, increase the risks for traffickers and lower demand for child slavery across the world?