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EU Presidencies

Latest Publication


Book-cover2
The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond
Authors: Mirjam van Reisen, Meron Estefanos & Conny Rijken

This study looks at what happens to people who are captured, extorted and tortured in the Sinai. Treated as commodities, sold and resold – these people are trafficked. The vocabulary of ‘warehouses’ and ‘auctions’ and the negotiation of the ‘price’ of the hostages is reminiscent of the age of slavery, when the value of people was determined by their market price.
For full list of publications

The Migrants' Files database on dead and missing migrants on their way to Europe.

10870072566 9f3a2f62bc c More than 23,000 migrants have lost their lives while trying to reach Europe since 2000, an average of 1,600 every year. Journalists from Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden and France have been working together since August 2013 to compile information on dead or missing migrants. The ‘Migrants’ files’ project has been realised by collecting data from the reportages of Fortress Europe, together with research of UNITED for Intercultural Action and from the ‘PULS’ data project of the University of Helsinki in collaboration with the Join Research Center of the European Commission

Read more: The Migrants' Files database on dead and missing migrants on their way to Europe.

Europol warns EU about the kidnapping of asylum seekers

europol logo 16Europol has warned that international extortion of money links to trafficking of refugees is likely to be happening in many parts of the EU. Based on data collected through national law enforcement authorities, a Europol policy brief – jointly produced with the EEAS, Frontex and Sweden - reveals that Eritreans in Europe have been extorted for Eritrean victims held in Sinai by Organised Crime Groups. In March 2014 Europol Director Rob Wainwright stated that “Europol has issued a warning to all police forces in Europe that this form of international extortion may also be happening in their areas” and that “Europol is ready for coordinated action with Interpol to deal with the problem in Europe and the Sinai region.”

Read more: Europol warns EU about the kidnapping of asylum seekers

Hell in Sinai - interviews on German radio

An emission called “Hölle Sinai”, the hell of Sinai, has been broadcasted on ARD, focusing on human trafficking in Sinai. The program presents the Eritrea as the North Korea of Africa and stresses that refugees feel they have little choice other than to flee the country. Many are abducted on their journey, taken to the Sinai where they are held and tortured in order to extract ransoms from their relatives. The statistics shows that people living in the region have more chances to be caught up in this human trafficking cycle than by terrorism, the principal preoccupation of the international community.

Read more: Hell in Sinai - interviews on German radio

The United Nations Human Rights Council tackles the issues of Human Trafficking in Sinai.

 The governments of Egypt and Sudan are being urged to act against human traffickers involved in the abduction, torture and exploitation of refugees who are held hostage in Sinai. In a statement to the 25th session of UN Human Rights Council supported by 24 member states,  German permanent representative Hanns H. Schumacher stated that "there is abundant evidence of Eritrean nationals being subjected to exploitation and violance, including sexual violence, in a most brutal, frequent and systematic way". 

Read more: The United Nations Human Rights Council tackles the issues of Human Trafficking in Sinai.

The European Parliament calls on governments to put an end to human trafficking in Sinai

 The European Parliament has adopted an urgent resolution expressing "deep concern" about the abuse of refugees who are abducted and held in Sinai. It emphasises not only for governments of Egypt, Israel, Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan to act to stop the trafficking trade, but also the need for protection and assistance being given to surviving refugees, through medical, psychological and legal help.

Read more: The European Parliament calls on governments to put an end to human trafficking in Sinai

Media exposure

YouTube SymposiumMarga Klompé Symposium - Tilburg University
Statement Mirjam van Reisen (YouTube)Interview EEPA Director Prof. Dr. Mirjam van Reisen
Statement Meron Estefanos (YouTube)Interview Meron Estefanos
Prof. Dr. Mirjam van Reisen on the legacy of Marga Klompe