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Trafficking for forced labour: EPP Group addresses the problem. Edit Bauer MEP

Date

09 Feb 2011

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

According to the International Labour Organisation's estimations, there are at least 12.3 million people in forced labour worldwide, out of which 2.4 million are victims of human trafficking.

Edit Bauer MEP chaired an EPP Group Hearing today in the European Parliament on combatting trafficking for forced labour, in cooperation with the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).

In her opening speech at the Hearing, Edit Bauer underlined that people trafficking is modern-day slavery, a 'high profit-low risk' business that amasses $32 billion profit per year. However, according to the latest International Labour Organisation's estimations, this amount could be even higher.

The EPP Group, as the largest and most influential political force in the European Parliament, has always felt it important to raise awareness of violations of human rights, what trafficking in human beings indeed is.

"I am very happy that the EPP Group has organised this Hearing. Our aim is to point out that trafficking in human beings is also about forced labour, a crime that has special characteristics and is often widely tolerated by society. This needs to be changed and adequately addressed by all possible means", said Mrs Bauer.

"In spite of the traditional conceptions that trafficking in human beings concerns only the sex industry, research shows that there are new trends being underestimated. Trafficking for forced labour is increasing, as is child trafficking, leaving many of these crimes undetected and unpunished", highlighted Edit Bauer, co-rapporteur of the latest Directive on trafficking in human beings.

Among the speakers was Doris Peschke, General Secretary of the CCME, who said that there is a widespread assumption that trafficking for forced labour is a marginal phenomenon in Europe or rather a marginal side-effect of undeclared migrant labour. However, the International Labour Organisation estimation shows that the victims of forced labour lose an estimated $21 billion every year in unpaid earnings which demonstrates that it is not a marginal issue.

Programme of the Hearing.

For further information:
Edit BAUER MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845673
Atilla Agárdi, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-750272

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

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