Vienna, 18 October 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: "Ensuring that human trafficking does not pay"

Vice-Chancellor on the EU Anti-Trafficking Day

Vienna, 18 October 2013 – "The estimated number of unknown victims is high, while the number of convictions in the EU is small. This shows that trafficking in human beings is still a profitable business that entails little risk for the offenders. We must fight this with resolve – on the national, European and international level", Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on the occasion of the EU Anti-Trafficking Day today.

Austria has already implemented the EU Directive on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, and since 2004 the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs has been coordinating the Austrian Human Trafficking Task Force where all the bodies, entities and NGOs involved cooperate closely and implement the National Action Plan against Human Trafficking. Austria's efforts in combating human trafficking have received positive assessments in international evaluations, among others by the Council of Europe.

"And yet, it is imperative that we remain relentless in our fight. The true dimension of this problem is still being underestimated. Too little attention is, for example, given to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation", Spindelegger said. This is the reason why this issue has been chosen as the focal item of this year's event on "Joining forces against human trafficking" to be held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna on 21 October 2013. "All actors have to work closely and systematically together and each and every one of us needs to be watchful to ensure that trafficking in human being does no longer pay or at least not pay as much in future", the Vice-Chancellor concluded.

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