Human Trafficking in Europe: an Economic Perspective

This paper is a broad mapping survey, placing the concerns of trafficking within broader migration analysis (including the role of irregular migration). It comments on the financial flows involved in trafficking, and on the different patterns of financing trafficking services. It also contains a brief review of the evidence, as to the extent to which organized crime is involved in human trafficking.

This Paper represents the initial stages of SAP-FL research and analysis, on a highly complex but also very important concern. Though global concern with human trafficking has grown quite dramatically in recent years, there have been few systematic attempts to comprehend and document its underlying economic dimensions. Global figures are sometimes put forward, estimating the huge profits realized from human trafficking by organized crime groups. In its most recent Trafficking in Persons Report released in June 2004, for example, the United States Government estimated that human trafficking now generates some USD 9.5 billion in annual revenue. Yet higher figures have been given by other sources.