West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire will host a conference to address the issue of Human Trafficking at the European Parliament in Brussels next week.
The conference, entitled, "Strategies for protecting Women and Children from Trafficking in Europe" will see Politicians and other experts in the field discuss this critical issue.
The We Demand a Referendum Now MEP is well known within the Parliament for her work in the field of Human Rights.
In 2009, the UK adopted the National Referral Mechanism, in an attempt to identify potential victims of Human Trafficking.
In the first three months of 2013, there were 407 referrals of adults and minors.
As of July 2013, the most common countries of origin for people referred were Albania, Nigeria, and Poland. Of those referrals, where people were found to have actually been trafficked, the most common foreign countries of origin were Poland and Romania. Albania, Hungary and the Czech Republic also feature as being problematic.
Of those people confirmed to have been trafficked who were adults, the 5 main countries of origin are Poland, Romania, Albania, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
The most common reason for exploitation is sexual. 70% of all victims were found to be female. The age group 21 – 30 is the most common amongst those who are trafficked.
Of the children referred, sexual exploitation is again the most common designated category. Again, females are in the majority.
In terms of numbers of referrals by first responder (emergency services), West Midlands is second only to the London Met.
Nikki Sinclaire MEP said,
"This is a very real problem across the EU, and in the UK we must do more to identify those who are the victims of human trafficking, and new measures that could be implemented to prevent these crimes happening.
Modern slavery exists in the UK and destroys lives. It manifests in an appallingly wide range of forms. Adults and children – UK nationals and those from abroad – are exploited in the sex industry, through forced labour, domestic servitude in the home, and forced criminal activity.
I am very proud to host this event and I hope that we can raise awareness for an issue that is often misunderstood, even by social care professionals"