Margot Parker MEP speech on Trafficking of women and children for sexual and labour exploitation

 

Trafficking of women and children for sexual and labour exploitation is as rife as ever. One of the most vulnerable groups are children.

 

In 2016 roughly 1 in 3 potential victims of modern slavery were children.

 

But, current statistics under-estimate the true scale of what is going on. Only showing what has been reported, and in some cases there are inconsistencies in recording.

 

The disappearance of children is a cruel reality of modern day slavery.

In 2015 10,000 migrant children went missing within Europe, according to Europol.

All with the prospect of a better life. Instead, headed for a life of domestic servitude, sexual exploitation or child marriage.

 

We are letting down these victims, leaving them vulnerable and open to being trafficked and abused.

 

How have we let this terrible violation of human dignity worsen?

 

Criminalised gangs are taking advantage of the EUs open borders and exploiting our women and children for vast sums of money.

 

Victims are used as mere pawns in the game of crime.

 

Each victim is disposable and easily replaceable to the criminals. To them, one death is nothing on the profitability of their enslavement.

 

The Commission must grasp that free movement of people is exacerbating this problem, failing the victims and aiding the criminals.

 

As the EU prohibits the UK from conducting criminal background checks on EU citizens, it is no wonder this crime has escalated.

 

Migrant children could start in Greece and end up in France without being tracked.

 

This is not a simple matter. But each time we debate this, nothing is resolved. If this issue is not addressed, then there is no hope for the victims. 

 

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