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Migration is a multi-faceted and complex phenomenon that has been part of human history since the beginning of humankind. Migrants or people on the move are present in virtually every country in the world. In the last few decades, globalization, ‘cultural revolution’ and better communication have only intensified the migration process and shaped its patterns.

The Report on International Migration (2013) observes that: ‘between 1990 and 2013, the number of international migrants worldwide rose by 50 per cent’. As such, migration is both an outcome of globalization processes & a contributing factor to the rapid socio-economic changes in a globalized world.

Trafficking is a complex phenomenon that is often driven or influenced by social, economic, cultural and other factors. Human trafficking affects every country of the world, as countries of origin, transit or destination - or even a combination of all. Trafficking often occurs from less developed countries to more developed countries, where people are rendered vulnerable to trafficking by virtue of poverty, conflict or other conditions. Many of these factors are specific to individual trafficking patterns and to the States in which they occur. Trafficking in human beings is to a large extent a symptom of Poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity which force millions of people to look for a better life by moving away from the places they call home. Human trafficking appears to be the worst human development outcome, linked to increasing global mobility. It is a form of modern day slavery that deprives people of their human rights and freedoms.

Currently, human trafficking is an issue of global concern. When it comes to migration, in general, studies indicate that there are several millions of migrants in the world. Since the start of 2014, IOM calculates almost 1.4 million migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean and entered Europe, via one of five EU coastal borders: Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta. According to IOM Germany, including sea routes to Spain and the Greek Islands, IOM estimates that some 156,000 migrants and refugees have landed in Europe from Africa and from Middle East, in the first ten and a half weeks of 2016. It is estimated that, several millions of individuals trafficked each year, and exploited in various sectors among whom the number of women takes the significant share.

Even if the issue of migration in general encompasses both the “regular and irregular” aspects, the issue of irregular migration in general and “human trafficking,” in particular, are the most important aspects of international migration debates in the world of today. To support this argument, the current explosive migration phenomenon, as it is noticed, is the most harmful organized offensive activities in the world.

Irregular migration is the migration of people across national borders in a way that violates the migration laws of the destination country. Some countries have millions of irregular migrants. Immigration, including irregular migration, is overwhelmingly upward, from a poorer to a richer country. However, it is also noted that irregular migrants tend not to be the poorest within their populations.

When potential migrants believe that the chances/benefits of successfully migrating are greater than the risks/costs, irregular migration becomes an option. The benefits taken into account include, not only expected improvements in income and living conditions, but also expectations in relation to potential future residential permits, where irregular migrants are given a path to naturalization or citizenship

Donors who funded the project Stop Human Trafficking