UNICEF fears child trafficking will grow with EU expansion
8 April 2004
COLOGNE – European Union expansion will lead to an increase in human trafficking as more loopholes open allowing traffickers to smuggle children into EU countries from eastern and southeastern Europe, the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF said Thursday.
In a statement in Cologne, UNICEF called on German candidates in June’s European elections to support its campaign to combat the trafficking in minors.
Some 120,000 women and children are sold by traffickers each year in EU countries, many of them forced into prostitution, UNICEF said.
Minors from countries such as Moldavia and Romania were being smuggled into Western Europe and countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, two of the countries set to join the European Union on 1 May.
UNICEF said it was important to focus on the victims and not to criminalize them as illegal immigrants.
Subject: German News