IOM Bulgaria is marking the EU Anti-Trafficking Day

The European Union marks on the 18th of October the EU Anti-Trafficking Day. The day is celebrated since 2007 and in 2020 we’re marking the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Despite the unprecedented situation, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, this year won’t make an exception. The pandemic and the related restrictions in freedom of movement and social contacts further emphasize the risk of falling into exploitation by additionally deepening the biggest vulnerabilities of the people living in poverty. The current reality pushes us to raise the alarm more than ever about the presence of the crime human trafficking. It exists and it’s happening before our very eyes!

In this context, the office of IOM Bulgaria remains engaged in the provision of direct assistance to victims of human trafficking. Since the beginning of 2020, IOM Bulgaria has organizes and implemented voluntary returns of 20 Bulgarian citizens who were victims of international trafficking, with IOM employees travelling to the destination countries for the escort and safe return of the victims to Bulgaria in six of those cases.