EU Anti-Trafficking Day

The EU Anti-Trafficking Day was established by the European Commission in 2007 and is celebrated on 18 October every year since. It is a great occasion to raise awareness on trafficking in human beings and increase the exchange of information, knowledge and best practices among the different actors working in this field.

2020 marks the 20th Anniversary since 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. The anniversary represents an important milestone in our recent history and renews the efforts of the international community to eradicate such a crime without borders.

As we enter a new decade since the adoption of the Protocol, the world faces a new challenge in counter-trafficking. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought severe restrictions to mobility, impacted livelihoods and limited access to vulnerable people. It is having a devastating impact on the household security and health of people all over the world, which inevitably further exposes vulnerabilities and increases the risk of exploitation.

In such context, IOM remains committed to protect and assist victims of trafficking. IOM is combating human trafficking since 1994 and is now the world’s largest provider of direct assistance to victims of trafficking. Since the 1990s, IOM has assisted over 100,000 victims from at least 138 countries. IOM’s unique access to migrants and victims of trafficking worldwide has allowed it to develop significant expertise in the identification, protection, assistance, referral and case management of trafficked persons.


Addressing and reducing vulnerabilities in migration is also one of the objectives of the newly adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. However, this can be a challenge for protection actors and service providers, as there is no internationally accepted definition of “vulnerable migrant,” no clear procedures for identifying them, nor operational guidelines for their protection and assistance.

To address this gap, IOM undertook development of the IOM Handbook on Protection and Assistance for Migrants Vulnerable to Violence, Exploitation and Abuse. The Handbook is intended to support case managers, service providers, communities, humanitarian and development actors, States and other actors working to provide protection and assistance to migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse. Download the Handbook

To mark the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, IOM mobilizes this week to raise awareness about and reinforce the tools needed to fight the scourge of trafficking in human beings, which keep threatening many victims across Europe.

How does IOM celebrate the EU Anti-Trafficking Day in the region?

The IOM Office in Ireland, in cooperation with the Government of Ireland, launched a public information campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking and exploitation in the post COVID-19 environment. The This link opens in a new tabAnyone campaign focuses on diverse forms of trafficking and exploitation, depicting what trafficking for the purposes of labour and other forms of exploitation looks like in everyday Irish life.

This link opens in a new tabBrowse the website

Senator Ivana Bacik supported IOM efforts by sharing a real human trafficking experience. Watch her video below:


The National Referral Mechanisms in the Assistance of Victims of Trafficking in Ireland

It is a key time to highlight the protection of victims of human trafficking, especially during a global pandemic. The IOM Office in Ireland, together with the Irish Department of Justice brought together key national and international experts to discuss the national referral mechanisms in the assistance of victims of trafficking, as a part of the national awareness raising "This link opens in a new tabAnyone" campaign.


To promote international exchanges on combating human trafficking, the IOM Office in Switzerland with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland launches a series of podcasts focusing on how to better identify and support male victims of trafficking. Experts and practitioners in combatting human trafficking will lead the discussions and share good practices resulting from their experience in working with a wide range of counter-trafficking stakeholders. Moreover, they will reply to questions by the audience. To register and submit your questions, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

Register and submit your questions

Four more episodes will be published every two weeks following the launch and will be available in French and German, while partly in English. This link opens in a new tabCheck out the podcasts published

During the past 3 years, the IOM Office in Bern carried out information campaigns reaching out to more than 11,000 people directly. The campaigns informed many more people than that, as 90 media pieces in Switzerland reported the trip of the “Open your eyes” information bus.

Watch the video


The IOM Office in Austria is co-organizing a virtual event on “Human Trafficking in Times of Corona” to shed light on the consequences that the lockdown and other developments caused by COVID-19 had on measures taken to combat human trafficking. Furthermore, the conference intends to reveal the link of economic pressure to the risk of being exploited in the context of human trafficking.

Watch the recording

How does IOM supports victims of trafficking in the region?

The largest database on human trafficking

The Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) is the first global repository of primary data on human trafficking contributed by multiple organizations.

Developed in partnership with Polaris and Liberty Shared, it combines the three biggest victim of human trafficking case datasets in the world, and results in one centralized dataset.

This link opens in a new tabBrowse CTCD data

The initiatives in Ireland are carried out with the support of:


The initiatives in Switzerland are carried out with the support of:

The initiatives in Austria are carried out with the support of: