Journeys of Jeopardy

A Review of Research on Trafficking in Women and Children in Europe

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This report by Professor Elizabeth Kelly assesses the current state of knowledge on the trafficking of women and children in Europe. It states that, despite growing interest and concern, information is still limited on the scale of trafficking, the methods it uses, and the most effective means to counter it. The report identifies a number of priorities for further research, including the structure of criminal groups and their methods, state compliance with relevant international laws, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of counter-trafficking initiatives.



Current baseline data

Given the lack of any agreement on how to estimate the global or regional scale of trafficking, all figures remain within the realm of “guesstimates”. The latest and most frequently cited data come from the US Department of State (2002) which suggest that 700,000 women and children are trafficked each a year across the globe. Figures for trafficking within and into Europe are even more scarce. IOM suggested that some 300,000 women a year may be affected (IOM, 1998), while a more recent European Commission publication puts the figure at 120,000 (European Commission, 2001). Such figures are seldom accompanied by detailed explanations of how they were arrived at, nor is it clear whether they refer only to individuals or include instances of re-trafficking.


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