Budapest, June 17 (MTI) – Hundreds of thousands of people are held against their will on European Union territory, and the fight against human trafficking and help for its victims is of vital importance, Myria Vassiliandou, the European Commission’s EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator said in a video message to a conference in Budapest today.

The aim of the project launched at the conference and co-sponsored by Hungary’s interior ministry and the EU is to help the victims of sexual and labour trafficking return to their homelands and reintegrate into society.

As part of the project, the conference being held in the ministry today is about getting international organisations and EU member states acquainted with best-practice in terms of supporting the victims of trafficking.

Vassiliandou said in her message that the underlying reasons for people trafficking must be examined, adding, however, that the crime was highly profitable with as much as 2.5 billion euros being made each year.

Traffickers would not be able to operate without clients, she said, adding that the sexual exploitation of adults and children precisely took place due to demand, and so it is the job of EU member states to tackle the problem by employing methods to reduce that demand.

Laszlo Felkai, interior ministry administrative state secretary, said in his opening address to the conference that the situation would not change unless the morals of society changed. A moral commitment must be made by society to abolish trafficking, he added.

Hungary, Belgium and Holland are creating an “international mechanism” for supporting victims — a chief aim of the project. The latter states are the main destination countries for Hungarian victims of trafficking.

A further aim of the programme is to build up trust between law enforcement agencies, the authorities, NGOs and organisations dealing with human trafficking.

Its budget, 90 percent of which is provided by the EU, amounts to 346,000 euros.



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