International Law Enforcement Actions Against Human Trafficking

Operation Global Chain against human trafficer
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From 8 to 15 May 2023, an international law enforcement action was undertaken to against human trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced begging, and forced criminal activities. This Operation Global Chain encompassed 44 countries, consisting of 25 EU member states and 19 non-EU countries coordinated by Europol, Frontex, and INTERPOL. Law enforcement agents arrested 212 individuals and identified 138 suspected traffickers identified.

Operation Global Chain

The joint activities focused on detecting and disrupting organized crime groups involved in trafficking in human beings, in particular child trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced criminality, and forced begging. The main objectives of Operation Global Chain were to identify, protect and refer victims and potential victims of human trafficking for assistance. Specific actions targeted the disruption of criminal networks potentially exploiting victims originating from South America, Asia, Africa, the Western Balkans, and Ukraine.

Sustained enforcement actions on the ground led to 212 arrests and the identification of 1 426 potential victims, while 244 new investigations were initiated. Authorities were present at border crossings and main transport hubs to identify potential victims and suspects, with countries adapting their operational activities to the types of trafficking prevalent in their regions. In total, 8 644 flights were monitored, while 3 984 border checkpoints were actively monitored. During these joint operational actions, approximately 130 000 officers worldwide checked:

  • 1.6 million people
  • 25 400 locations
  • 153 300 vehicles
  • 72 850 documents

The operational activities were planned during a meeting hosted by Frontex and coordinated from the coordination centre hosted by INTERPOL. Europol facilitated the exchange of information and provided 24/7 operational analytical support during the week of action.

Operational highlights

  • Investigators in Sweden identified 5 underage boys in a well-known begging area, accompanied by a 19-year-old male. In their statements, the boys indicated that the adult was acting as their boss, overseeing their begging activities. 
  • In Serbia, 6 suspects were arrested for sexually exploiting 10 female, and 1 suspect for exploiting 1 female in the form of forced begging and forced criminality. 
  • Romanian authorities conducted 19 house searches and arrested 4 people suspected of labour exploitation of at least 8 victims.
  • In North Macedonia, 11 suspects were arrested for the sexual exploitation of minors and trafficking in human beings.
  • In Colombia, 27 victims of sexual exploitation were identified and 7 suspects were arrested. 
CategoriesLaw Enforcement

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