EU-wide operation results in over 100 arrests for child trafficking
A partnership operation by European law enforcement agencies into child trafficking has seen over 130 arrests and a similar number of potential victims identified.
Europol, the EU’s joint policing unit led a week-long operation in June with support from its colleagues at Interpol, which is the international police criminal body, and Frontex, the EU border ageny.
Nearly 23,000 law enforcement officers took part in the action days, says Europol, which saw checks carried out at European sea, land, and air borders, with an additional focus on heavily utilised routes into Europe.
This resulted in over 130 arrests and around 60 additional suspects being identified, as well as more than 100 new investigations being initiated. More than 130 possible victims of human trafficking were identified, more than a dozen of whom were confirmed as minors.
‘Minors remain the most vulnerable group’
Law enforcement officers also checked the identity of over 11,000 minors, who remain the most vulnerable group within persons being trafficked and exploited. Many fall victim to sexual exploitation, forced begging or different types of forced criminality, including petty crimes and drug trafficking. They also become victims of labour exploitation and domestic slavery.
The countries taking part were Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.