Legal frameworks on trafficking in persons

AuthorFabio Paolini
PositionLLM in International Cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime, Teramo University, Italy
Fabio Paolini
LESIJ NO. XIX, VOL. 2/2012
Always in order to realize the best prevention and contrast of the trafficking of minors, the
research underlines the necessity of armonization all the national legislations (up to now well 27
differet approaches pertaining to each EU member states) according the numerous directives
formulated and reproposed by the European authorities.
Keywords: trafficking of minors, necessity of armonization, EU member states
Human trafficking is, in its very nature, a large-scale and complex phenomenon that is very
hard to detect. Moreover traffickers are able to profit of any technical innovation (i.e. sexual
exploitation over internet) and of every change in the social and political situation, as demonstrated
in Europe, first with the collapse of the communist bloc that opened new routes for trafficking, and
after with the present-day problems related to the diminished border control within Eu ropean Union.
Recent and well known data report that the number of countries involved in human trafficking
(with a different role: as origin, transit end/or destination) is around 1301 and that this criminal
activity is able to generate an yearly profit of $ 32 billion, $ 10 billion representing the amount
derived from the initial sale of the individuals2.
These are only rough estimates as there aren’t accurate data on the extension of this crime.
Numbers not only are unavailable and unreliable3, but they also vary from organization to
organization and there is a lack of standardized methods to collect data both at local and global level.
Among the authoritative sources, the Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 published by the US
Department of State, mentions a government financed study from 2006 according to which 800.000
people crossed the national border worldwide as victims of trafficking.
The same research states that around 80% are women and girls, and that minors could be up
to 50% of the total number: the majority of the victims of t his trans-national crime is constituted of
women trafficked for sexual purposes, and is also pointed out that these data don’t take into account
millions of female and male who are trafficked within their national borders, mainly with the purpose
of forced labor4.
The same American source in 2009, recalling an ILO document, reports that the number of
trafficked adults and minors reached 12.3, and the percentage of women and children increased up to
LLM in International Cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime, Teramo University, Italy (e-mail: This paper is part of a broader research project, ”THE TRAFFICKING OF MOLDOVAN
MINORS”, Research realized in the frame of the Project "Additional Measures to Fight Child Traffick ing in Moldova"
Programme EU Grant Contract N. 2009/1556290 – Itaca ONG.
1 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Trafficking in Persons Global Patterns, 2006, p. 17;
more in detail in the report is written 127 countries of origin, 98 transit countries and 137 destination countries,
but some countries can appear under more than one category.
2 ILO, A Global alliance against forced labour, 2005, p. 55.
3 Terre des Hommes, Lost Kids, lost futures. The European Union’s response to child trafficking, 2004 p. 11.
4 U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in persons report, June 2008, p. 7.

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