F A C T   F I L E:

Every year 2 million girls aged between 5 and 15 are coerced, abducted, sold or trafficked into the illegal sex market.

UN figures suggest that between 200-300,000 women are trafficked to Europe every year.

Well over $7 billion a year is generated from sex trade trafficking.

Current global figures indicate 200 million people are held in various forms of slavery.

Some four million people are trafficked globally today: 4% of all the world’s migrants.

Two million children every year become victims of paedophiles and their networks as global demand for child pornography and child prostitution escalates.



“Women and children are not property, but human beings. The international community should declare, loudly and more strongly than ever, that we are all members of the human family. Slavery simply has no place in a world of human rights”. 

UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

“It is clear that governments acting individually cannot address the problem adequately”.

Antonio Vitorino, EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner.




I invite you to participate, as an individual or through your organisation, in the European Action Against Trafficking network. Trafficking of human beings has become a global criminal phenomenon and millions of people are being caught up in this destructive web of fear and violence.

According to UN statistics, the vast majority of victims are women and children who are lured, abducted, sold or coerced into forced prostitution and bonded labour. The cost of communications is now so low that millions travel around the world in search of sex and prostitution, which used to be limited by tradition and custom, has become a global market – as has pornography. This massive and rapidly increasing enslavement by criminals must be opposed. All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men and women to do nothing!

“It is the world's biggest violation of human rights,” according to Pino Arlacchi, executive director of the UN Drug Control Program. Trafficking of human beings provides a transnational and complex challenge: it is a criminal activity, a human rights abuse and an economic empowerment and social justice issue. Anti-trafficking strategies require a multifaceted and multilateral approach.

Governments have realised that they cannot combat such a complex challenge alone and this has led to the establishment of the Convention on Transnational Organised Crime. Signed in Palermo in December 2000 by more than 120 nations it marks a significant step forward in international cooperation on the rule of law and combating global crime. 

However there is an urgency for action. According to Europol Senior Deputy Director, Willy Bruggemann, “Human trafficking to E.U. member states for sexual exploitation and illicit labour is increasing significantly.  The indication is that more and more sophisticated crime groups are involved and the situation will intensify in the near future with more central European nations functioning as transit countries.”

The United Nations and the European Parliament have repeatedly stressed the indispensable role of non-governmental organisations in combating violence in all its forms and encouraged their increased involvement.  In response WomenAid International has initiated European Action Against Trafficking [EAAT]. The programme aims to build a network of likeminded NGOs and individuals wishing to make a stand against this massive and rapidly increasing enslavement of human beings. 

Mircea Geoana, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Romanian Foreign Minister  expressed the situation admirably when he stated “Trafficking in human beings is a disgrace to human dignity and an affront to all of us.” "This is not the time to pay lip service, it is time for action."  

WomenAid hopes you and/or your organisation will participate in European Action Against Trafficking - for only by working together will we provide opposition to this rapidly increasing criminal activity.

Pida Ripley  MA, AKC, Founder, WomenAid International




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