The challenges of countering human trafficking in the digital era

Modern communication technologies – namely the internet, social media, and mobile applications – have significantly impacted how organised crime groups involved in international trafficking in human beings operate. Technology has broadened criminals’ ability to traffic human beings for different types of exploitation, including sexual and labour exploitation, the removal of organs, illegal adoption of children and forced marriages.

Human traffickers are using increasingly modern communication technologies to exploit their victims multiple times over:  from advertising and recruiting victims, to blackmailing them with photos and videos to control their movements. To counter this threat, we have to use the great advantage of shared intelligence and collect more digital evidence to connect the dots between national and international investigations. Fighting human trafficking is one of the EU and Europol’s top priorities and to mark the EU Anti-Trafficking Day 2020 Europol is publishing The challenges of countering human trafficking in the digital era.