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European Anti Trafficking Programme header_ K33 A3129 jpg 2021 10 Romania Stock Photoshoot Approved for Full Use

Stopping modern slavery and human trafficking in Europe

Nearly two million people are trapped in slavery in Europe - including the UK.

The number of victims of trafficking in Europe grew by more than 45% [1] from 2016 to 2018. Trafficked for labour or sexual exploitation, they face abuse and violence.

War in Ukraine has put millions more women and children at risk of trafficking. Forced to flee their homes, refugees are scattered across Europe and vulnerable to false offers of work or housing. Together with supporters and partners, we’ve protected thousands of people from trafficking since the start of the war in Ukraine.

How does IJM work to stop modern slavery and human trafficking in Europe?

We’ve been helping protect people from cross-border trafficking in Europe since 2019. 

In partnership with authorities and supported by people like you, we:

• Bring people to safety and support them with trauma-informed care

• Bring traffickers to justice

• Strengthen justice systems

• Invest in systemic change so people are not abused in the first place

We have staff working in Romania, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. With more women and children at risk, we’re working to expand our anti-trafficking work into other countries in Europe.

Angela* was trafficked from Romania to London for sexual exploitation

Sexual and verbal abuse was common in Angela’s home. When Robert* came along, he made her feel loved for the first time. Robert assured Angela he cared for her and could offer her an escape from her abusive home. Sadly, this is a way traffickers deceive young women into commercial sexual exploitation in the UK.

Angela and her family trusted Robert’s promises of a better life. Instead, Angela was taken to a house in the UK where she was forced to engage in sexual exploitation. She escaped from a balcony and managed to run away. Police took her into safe custody where she provided descriptions that helped them arrest the suspect.

Since returning to Romania, we’ve helped provide Angela with important practical support, including housing. We’ve also helped her emotionally, arranging therapy sessions so Angela can process the events she’s experienced and improve her relationship with her family.

“With the amazing help and support from International Justice Mission, we have managed to offer practical help and support to survivors, from counselling to social care, housing and even skills courses.”

- Detective Constable Lore Hancock, the London Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command


What are the signs of modern slavery?
What does human trafficking look like in Europe?
What does IJM do in Europe?
How has IJM been responding to the Ukraine crisis?
What is sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation?
What is labour trafficking?

Modern Slavery Helpline
If you suspect you, or someone you know is being exploited, call the UK Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.


[1] GRETA, Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, 2019.

You Can Help Send Rescue Today.

When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery and violence in our lifetime.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support will help send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and have perpetrators held accountable.


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