The number of people across Europe identified as being victims of human trafficking rose by almost half between 2015 and 2018, according to the latest annual report from the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).
According to information provided by the authorities in the 47 countries bound by the Council of Europe’s Anti-trafficking Convention, 15,310 people were identified as victims of human trafficking in 2018, compared to 10,598 identified victims in 2015.
The report reviews the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS n° 197) by the countries concerned, 10 years after the Convention’s entry into force, on the basis of the second evaluation round reports drawn up by GRETA.
“Different countries count victims of human trafficking in different ways, but the available data suggest there has been a considerable increase in the number of people identified as victims of this horrendous crime,” said GRETA President Davor Derenčinović.
“The hidden nature of human trafficking and the fact that we have found problems with the identification process in many countries suggest that the real number of victims may actually be much higher. It is crucial that the relevant authorities step up their efforts to tackle human trafficking and to provide the assistance and support that victims are legally entitled to.”