10 Worst Countries in Europe for Human Trafficking

Being aware of how grave the issue of human trafficking has become with globalization and mass migrations in the past few decades, we at Insider Monkey thought it would be informative to create a list of 10 worst countries in Europe for human trafficking pointing to the issue in these countries.

Human trafficking epitomizes one of the most serious human rights abuses. Depriving someone of their freedom and subjugating them to the will of others is a way to dehumanize individuals. The issue of human trafficking has become something of a global aberration. So many countries try to invent mechanisms and instruments to eradicate human trafficking, yet so few of them succeed in it. It is challenging to keep track of these underground activities when there is so much going on. Not that long ago I wrote about top 15 cities with highest human trafficking in the world, where I established that Bangkok, Kabul, and Havana are top three worst human trafficking cities in the world. This time, however, I am intent on researching and writing about the worst countries in Europe for human trafficking.

10 Worst Countries in Europe for Human Trafficking

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The US Department of State and the United Nations Office on Drugs publish annual reports which contain human trafficking by country statistics and qualitative data on human trafficking. These reports are a relevant source of information as they provide comprehensive data on human trafficking patterns worldwide. The report published by the US Department of State also provides human trafficking map of the world offering a visual representation of which country belongs to which tier. The countries are grouped into four tiers. Tier 1 are countries which fully comply with TVPA, “Trafficking Victims Protection Act”. Countries which belong to Tier 2, do not fully comply with TVPA but are making significant efforts to do so. Countries on Tier 2 Watchlist represent the worst countries in terms of human trafficking. These countries do not fulfill even the minimum requirements established by the TVPA. Despite the fact that they try to do so, human trafficking is severe, and the number of victims appears to be increasing. The issue appears to be spiraling out of control. Countries in Tier 3 category do not comply with the standards set by the TVPA and are not making efforts to do so. We already published an article you might find interesting as it provides a list of countries with the highest rates of human trafficking in the world.

The human trafficking map of 2016 provided by human rights first reveals there were staggering 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Countries in Asia-Pacific region seem to be doing little or nothing in preventing human trafficking as there were 11.7 million human trafficking victims in this region. Africa is the second worst region in terms of combating human trafficking, with the recorded 3.7 million victims of human trafficking in 2016. E.U. & developed economies, while having the “lowest” number of victims of human trafficking, still have the space for improvement of their strategies for tackling the issue. Human trafficking is not an issue that countries should be dealing with alone. The very definition of human trafficking suggests that it is an activity that happens in more than one place. More often than not these places are separated by borders. For this reason, it is important that countries cooperate with one another in the process of policymaking.

The USA is not immune to the issue of human trafficking. Our article on worst states for human trafficking in America shows that California is where human trafficking is the worst in the United States. California would probably be the answer to the question where is human trafficking most common in the US, as well. One could claim that it is the focal point of human trafficking activity. As estimated, there are 2.55 human trafficking victims per 100.000 people. California is followed by Ohio and Florida on this list. While the USA is not the worst in terms of human trafficking data worldwide, it certainly has a long way to go to reduce the number of victims to a minimum.

When creating the list of top worst countries in Europe for human trafficking, I used 2016 report published by the UN Office on Drugs and 2017 report published by the US Department of State. The human trafficking countries ranking is based on qualitative and quantitative data provided in these reports. In order to rank them, I used the data on how they have been categorized in the past 7 years, that is, which Tier they were grouped in. I also looked into the specific cases of human trafficking in these countries to illustrate how the issue is present in them.