Austria leads global operation against human trafficking

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Under the leadership of Austria, a police focus operation has been carried out in 44 countries in the fight against human trafficking for sexual exploitation, begging and the commission of crimes.
A total of 212 people were arrested, and 1,426 potential victims were identified, the Interior Ministry announced Thursday. Operation Global Chain took place from May 8 to 15.

Around 130,000 police officers were deployed worldwide in operation, led by Austria and coordinated by Europol, Frontex and Interpol. They included EMPACT Joint Action Days (JAD), co-led by Romania. Authorities were present at border crossings, major transport hubs and neuralgic locations to identify potential victims and perpetrators. About 1.6 million people, 25,400 localities, 153,300 vehicles and 72,850 documents were checked worldwide. Subsequently, 244 new investigations were opened.

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Europe-wide focus
According to the Ministry of the Interior, for the first time, there was a Europe-wide focus operation with the Western Balkan states and other countries such as Morocco, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil and Colombia. The process involved several law enforcement agencies, including police, immigration and border control authorities, traffic police, and social and child protection services.

The objective was to combat human trafficking with a focus on detecting and dismantling related organized crime, identifying perpetrators and victims of trafficking, paying attention to Latin American, Chinese, and Nigerian trafficking, detecting trafficking from the Western Balkans and Ukraine, and controlling potential hot spots. Throughout the action, an international coordination center was established in Lyon, where participating states sent their representatives.

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