2022 Assembly


RENATE Spain online event to mark European Day against Trafficking


To commemorate the European Day against Trafficking in Human Beings, 18 October, the Spanish organisation “Tejiendo Redes contra la Trata”   (‘Weaving Webs against Trafficking’) will host an online event entitled “Human Trafficking. Difficulties and Challenges”.

On this occasion, they would like to look in depth at the difficulties and obstacles that they still encounter when intervening with victims of trafficking, as well as the challenges that they currently face in order to continue providing adequate responses.

The group “Tejiendo Redes contra la Trata” works at a national level and is made up of Caritas Spain, Justice and Peace, National CONFER (Conference of Religious men and women) and the Episcopal Subcommission for Migration and Human Mobility through the Department of Trafficking.

Also belonging to this group is Marifran Sánchez, the secretary of the Subcommission for Migration and Human Mobility through the Department of Trafficking of the Episcopal Conference, and member of RENATE.

They will have the presence of three professionals from different projects, who will focus on the issue from the different purposes of exploitation: sexual, labour, criminal activities and forced marriages.

The event can be followed on Youtube channel of the Trafficking Department of the Episcopal Subcommission for Migration and Human Mobility on the 18 th October from 6pm to 7.30pm (CET).

The event can also be viewed (in Spanish) at:

Ireland: Book Launch Event: “Making Sense of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery”, Monday, 17th October 2022 at St Peters, North Mains Street, Cork T12 RF8D.


To mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day 2022, author David Lohan will host a public event, titled “Making Sense of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery”, at St Peters, North Main Street, Cork, this Monday evening, 17th October at 6:15pm. All are welcome to attend to learn more about the reality of human trafficking in Ireland today.

The latest estimates indicate that 50 million persons are victims of modern slavery globally. Meanwhile, Ireland has been recognized as a country of origin, transit and destination in human trafficking, and more than 500 victims have been identified in Ireland since 2013.

During the course of the hour-long event, attendees will hear from experts working to combat human trafficking in Ireland:

  • JP O’Sullivan is Networks & Communications Manager with the anti-trafficking NGO, MECPATHS, which advocates for child protection from trafficking for exploitation.
  • Sharon Etokhana is Human Rights Coordinator for AkiDwA, a national network of migrant women living in Ireland. AkiDwA stands for “Akina Dada wa Africa”, meaning “Sisterhood” in Swahili.
  • Mia De Faoite is a survivor activist with 10 years’ experience working as a campaigner and policy advisor on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation. Most recently Mia was the campaign coordinator of the Beyond Exploitation Campaign.
  • David Lohan is an author, researcher and engineer who has spent many years researching human trafficking and recently published a new book, At Freedom’s Crossroads: Making Sense of Modern Slavery.

The evening will be facilitated by John McGeady, Justice Officer (Advocacy and Campaigns) for the Irish Province of the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, based in Ardfoyle Convent, Ballintemple.

Input from speakers will be followed by the launch of David’s new book, At Freedoms Crossroad’s: Making Sense of Modern Slavery. The book strives to challenge ideas about slaves and their slavery, and to challenge some of the conditions that give rise to both. It is available in eBook format from Amazon Kindle and in hardcopy in-store from all good bookshops everywhere.

At Freedoms Crossroad’s provides an overview of the issue of slavery and human trafficking past and present. It considers some key questions including: What is slavery? What does it mean to be a slave? Why does slavery exist today? And what can be done to end it?


Experts join forces during hackathon against human trafficking


Source: Border Security Report

In the last ten years, the internet and social media have been increasingly used in practices that involve forms of human trafficking and exploitation. That is why various experts from twenty European countries came to the Netherlands during a hackathon to look together online for signs of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.


On September 6, 2022, EMPACT and the Dutch police coordinated an online day of action targeting criminal networks that use websites and social media to recruit victims of sexual and labour exploitation. This first EU-wide* hackathon** against online human trafficking was conducted by experts from 20 countries and Eurojust and supported by Europol.

Gathered in one room at the Dutch Police Academy in Apeldoorn, 85 detectives from all over Europe checked 114 platforms for human trafficking. The various experts put their heads together to map out at a European level whether, in addition to the already known sex advertising sites, other internet platforms are also being used to offer sexual services. And if so, whether these contain online signs of sexual exploitation.


New studies
Both the internet and human trafficking are not bound by national borders. Many social media platforms, dating apps and online private groups are being “hijacked” by people engaged in human trafficking for sexual or labor exploitation. During COVID-19, criminals took advantage of the pandemic to bolster their trafficking activities and make even more profits. It is more essential than ever to detect human trafficking online. The international cooperation during this hackathon and the exchange of knowledge, expertise and technology contributes to a better mapping of this criminal landscape and has resulted in new investigations. One of the actions targeted human traffickers trying to lure Ukrainian refugees.


Key figures:
Monitored 114 online platforms, of which 30 targeted vulnerable Ukrainian citizens;

  • Checked 53 online platforms suspected of involvement in human trafficking, with 10 targeting only vulnerable Ukrainian citizens;
  • Checked 5 online platforms involved in human trafficking, four of which focused on the sexual exploitation of children via the dark web;
  • 11 suspects of human trafficking whose identities have been identified, including 5 persons involved in human trafficking targeting vulnerable Ukrainian citizens;
  • 45 possible victims discovered, including 25 of Ukrainian nationality;
  • 20 platforms potentially involved in human trafficking identified, which will be further investigated and monitored;
  • 80 persons/usernames checked, of which 30 are involved in possible exploitation of vulnerable Ukrainian citizens.


Although the actions mainly focused on human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, the investigators also looked for leads for other forms of exploitation, including labor exploitation. The detectives searched a wide range of websites and other online platforms for human trafficking and other criminal activity. These platforms include social media, dating sites, advertising and support platforms, forums and messaging apps. Investigators have also investigated dark web platforms linked to human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children online.

*Participating countries
Albania, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom and Sweden.

When a group of experts comes together, in this case online, and together they look for ways to solve or investigate online a certain well-defined problem within a limited time.



Europol supported the coordination of operational activities, facilitated the exchange of information and provided analytical assistance. On the action day, Europol set up a virtual command center to facilitate real-time information exchange, while a specialized analyst compared the operational information with the information in Europol’s databases. This has provided the investigators of the participating enforcement agencies with directions for further investigation.


EMPACT Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) is an EU project whose main aim is to tackle human trafficking. The Netherlands, as ultimately responsible for this, is closely involved. By joining international forces, 1,250 investigations into human trafficking were established last year. (EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats))