IOM: Half of Irregular Migrants Coming to EU Exploited -

IOM: Half of Irregular Migrants Coming to EU Exploited

  • Published on
    March 14, 2019
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Debt Bondage, Forced Labor, Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking, Slavery In conflict
Hero Banner

A new report from the International Organization for Migration has found that nearly half of irregular migrants arriving in Spain via the Mediterranean faced human trafficking or other forms of exploitation during their journey.

Through 1,341 interviews with migrants from 39 countries, IOM asked if they had faced abuses including: being held against one’s will, being approached by someone with offers of an arranged marriage, having worked without getting the expected payment, having experienced physical violence, being forced to work, offers of cash in exchange for blood, organs or body parts and threatened with sexual violence.

“The survey includes a module aiming at measuring the vulnerability to human trafficking, exploitative practices and abuse during the journey of respondents or of other migrants traveling with them,” said the International Organization for Migration.

Albawaba reports:

The survey was conducted from July to October 2018 and based on 1,341 interviews with migrants and refugees from 39 countries who arrived in Spain.

Of them 89 percent were male and 11 percent were female, with 35 percent younger than 20 years of age and 19 percent between 21 and 23.

Nearly half of the participants, 48 percent, reported that they were subjected to at least one type of abuse while traveling.

Male participants reported on a higher percentage of exploitation and abuse (49 percent) compared to female participants (40 percent).

The report also shows that migrants from Cameroon, the Gambia and Guinea reported the highest share of direct experience of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Migrants from Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania had the lowest share.

“The results of this survey show an alarming incidence of reported exploitation and abuse of migrants and refugees along the route,” said Maria Jesus Herrera, IOM chief of mission in Spain.

“It is striking how varied their motivations and experiences are, and we do not always realize the very high levels of vulnerability in play.”

Herrera emphasized that much of the abuses migrants face could be avoided by “strengthening safe channels for regular migration.”


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Passing of CSDDD blocked – human rights in danger

What could have been a day to celebrate, has turned into a day full of disappointment. On February 28, 2024, the European Council blocked the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) after the vote had been postponed due to insufficient support, as reported by Reuters. Thirteen out of the 27 member states voted against the law or abstained from the vote, leaving the ‘qualified majority' of 15 countries short of one. A timeline of

| Wednesday February 28, 2024

Read more