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Human trafficking climbs in Germany

24 May 2010 12:07

A top German law enforcement official has warned of a climbing number of human trafficking cases in the country with an 11-percent rise in the figure.

“Over the course of the last five years, the number of investigations has risen continuously from 317 to 534. This means an increase of 70 percent over five years and 11 percent last year alone. We attach great importance to this form of criminal activity because the human dignity of the victims is violated,” said Jorg Ziercke, the Chief Commissioner of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, Press TV reported Monday.

Thousands of people are illegally transported each year around the world, where they are sold as prostitutes, forced laborers and even exploited as organ donors, according to the report.

The United Nations has also expressed concerns that this modern form of slavery is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.

The federal criminal investigators added on their annual report that the number of investigations related to human trafficking in Germany rose by 11 percent last year and 534 preliminary proceedings were initiated in 2009.

Most of the cases involved women forced into prostitution. The sex trade is tolerated in most cities in Germany but restricted to certain urban areas, such as industrial zones.

Most victims of forced prostitution are from eastern European countries while one in three perpetrators is a German national.

According to the annual report, the number of cases involving African mafia groups is also on the rise, with some groups trying to obtain a larger share of the lucrative criminal pie, using brutality and voodoo rituals to intimidate their victims.

“We are extremely worried because of the age pattern of the victims. Sixty-five were bellow 21 years of age. One in five was under age. Forty-one victims were even younger than 14 years of age.”

According to a recent report, the police in Hamburg uncovered an illegal ring trafficking Russian children for German adoption. Moreover, the number of victims used as illegal organ donors is also reported to be on the rise.

Meanwhile, the non-governmental organizations want to increase their efforts to reach out to the victims who often do not trust authorities or have a complex dependency relationship with their tormentor.

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