On the occasion of EU Anti-Trafficking Day (18 October), a campaign is launched today to raise awareness about labour exploitation and human trafficking taking place in Europe. Used in Europe is a campaign initiated by La Strada International, with whom SOMO is researching cases of labour exploitation in Europe. The campaign is supported by a wide range of anti-trafficking NGOs.

Despite what many Europeans think, human trafficking for labour exploitation takes place across a wide range of sectors in Europe. It leads to severe forms of human rights violations like: Inhumane treatment of workers, deception, coercion or withholding of salary and identity documents. These violations takes place in all economic sectors, ranging from construction and agriculture to recruitment and the hotel industry.

Due to unique factors within each European country and the many forms of labour exploitation, there are no quick fixes or simple solutions to the problem. However, by recognising what is happening, we can begin to change it. We can move towards a more humane and fair way of producing our goods in Europe.

With this in mind, La Strada International and 30 European partner organisations have developed the campaign Used in Europe: human trafficking and labour exploitation on our continent. It highlights some cases of labour exploitation in Europe and outlines what we need to do to end them.