A migrant ship on Italy's coast | Photo: Press Office Coast Guard
A migrant ship on Italy's coast | Photo: Press Office Coast Guard

The number of trafficking victims forced into quasi slave labor is growing, according to anti-trafficking experts. A new report states that labor exploitation is a key factor driving migrant smuggling in several European countries .

Labor trafficking is on the rise across Europe, the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) says in its annual report. 


The president of GRETA, Siobhan Mullally, said the group's monitoring activity "shows that a growing number of trafficking victims are exploited as workers in the most terrible conditions." 

The report said that labor exploitation is a key factor driving migrant smuggling in several European countries including Belgium, Cyprus, Georgia, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Serbia while in many others it is on the rise. 

Rise in labor exploitation since 2010 

GRETA reported a rise in human trafficking victims exploited as workers since 2010, the first year in which the Council of Europe's group started monitoring member states.The report cites Cyprus and Moldova as examples. In Cyprus, labor trafficking victims doubled between 2013 and 2015, while in Moldova their number went up from 29 percent to 44 percent between 2011 and 2015. 
 

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