site.btaConference on Combating Human Trafficking, Labour Exploitation Takes Place in Sofia

Conference on Combating Human Trafficking, Labour Exploitation Takes Place in Sofia
Conference on Combating Human Trafficking, Labour Exploitation Takes Place in Sofia
Conference on Private Sector’s Role in Combating Human Trafficking, Labour Exploitation, Sofia, May 28, 2024 (BTA Photo)

Conference on strengthening the private sector’s role in combating human trafficking and labour exploitation in supply chains was held in Sofia on Tuesday. 

Addressing the forum, Petya Nestorova, Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, said that many people associate human trafficking with vulnerable women or girls, as well as with migrant trafficking, but human trafficking is also linked to the private sector.

Approximately 40% of all human trafficking cases are related to labour exploitation, Nestorova said. The victims are men, women, children, European Union and third-country nationals, both low-skilled and high-skilled workers. Human trafficking is sometimes combined with money laundering and tax crimes. In Nestorova’s words, about USD 245 billion is generated by such illegal activities, with USD 76 billion related to forced labour in the private sector.

Increasingly, victims are dragged into other crimes, said Vanya Stoyneva, chair of the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. In Bulgaria, human trafficking for labour exploitation is on a par with trafficking for sexual exploitation, she underscored.

Public awareness of human trafficking risk is much higher now, said German Ambassador to Bulgaria Irene Plank. "In 2010, in Germany we did not realize what was happening, but in 2012-2013 everything changed. We started to realize that conditions are not good in garment factories," Plank noted. The civil society became active after two huge fires in the factories, and then it became clear that a plan of action is needed. Such a plan was adopted a few years later, but the majority of companies failed to implement it, so legislative changes had to be voted, the German ambassador explained.

/MR/

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By 13:06 on 20.06.2024 Today`s news

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