This data story presents key characteristics from the Global Victim Dataset of approximately 29,000 victims exploited in Europe. Most data is shown at the regional level, and there are some key statistics for the ten countries within the region where the largest amount of data is present. The subset mainly comprises data from IOM's counter trafficking activities, and therefore some data is largely reflective of IOM's programming within the region. Regions and sub-regions are defined according to the official UN classification.

Type of exploitation all victims

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Over half of victims exploited in Europe are victims of trafficking for labour exploitation, while just over 40% are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Region of origin of victims

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Over 90% of identified victims exploited in Europe have citizenship of a European country, representing the intra-regional nature of trafficking.

Gender of victims

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Among identified cases of victims exploited within the region of Europe, over two thirds are female.

Adults and children

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Over 80% of the victims exploited in Europe are adults, with children making up 16% of the sample. There is a slightly higher proportion of adults than in the wider Global Victim Dataset

Gender and age of victims

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Females make up a higher proportion than males in almost all age categories, particularly in categories between the age of 15 and 29. There is a nearly equal proportion of males and females in younger age categories, and men are slightly more proportionately represented in categories between 36 and 47.

Means of control used on adults and children

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Traffickers use many means of controlling their victims, and each victim can be subject to several means of control during the course of their trafficking experience. Adult victims exploited in Europe tend to be controlled much more through excessive working hours, withholding of documents and taking of earnings. Children are controlled proportionately more through sexual abuse.

Marital status

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Around a third of victims exploited in Europe are married, while just under 50% are single.

Sector of work for victims of trafficking for labour exploitation

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Available data shows a high proportion (almost 40%) of victims trafficked into construction. Other common sectors of work for victims of labour exploitation trafficked in Europe are agriculture, manufacturing, domestic work and hospitality. While this may be reflective of general trends, it should be noted that data here largely reflect IOM's programming and there may be a high number of individuals trafficked into certain sectors in certain places.

Education level

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The majority of victims exploited in Europe have completed some form of secondary or further education. Under 10% have completed only primary or elementary education.

Recruiter relationship

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The majority of identified victims were not recruited by someone close to them.