Trafficking in persons is a serious human rights violation that affects men, women and children. Around the globe, people are trafficked across international borders as well as within their own countries.

Traffickers earn billions of dollars and run a low risk of detection and conviction. Through false promises, deception, physical and psychological violence and abusing positions of power, traffickers compel people to enter and remain in exploitative situations.

Structural inequality, poverty, limited opportunities and resources and a resulting lack of social power lay the groundwork for exploitation.

IOM’s Global Approach

IOM takes a comprehensive approach to countering trafficking in persons within the wider context of managing migration. IOM's wide-ranging activities are implemented through partnership with governmental institutions, NGOs and international organizations.

The approach is based on three principles that govern all counter-trafficking activities:

  • Respect for human rights
  • Physical, mental and social well-being of the individual and his or her community
  • Sustainability through institutional capacity building of governments and civil society

Global activities include assistance and protection, including shelter; capacity building of state institutions, civil society and the private sector; contribution to policy discourse; research and technical cooperation. Prevention measures focus on ensuring that migrant workers have access to their rights.

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Counter-trafficking in Austria

Austria is affected by human trafficking both as a transit country and country of destination. Men, women and children are trafficked in and through Austria for sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, forced begging and forced criminality. Common countries of origin include EU countries, such as Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, as well as third countries such as Nigeria, the Philippines and China.

The Austrian Task Force on Combating Human Trafficking,which is headed by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, is charged with coordinating and intensifying measures taken by Austria against human trafficking. The Task Force is composed of representatives of all competent ministries, representatives of federal provinces and relevant research institutions and NGOs.

IOM Austria works with Austrian ministries, investigative authorities, victim protection organizations, research institutions and other relevant stakeholders to improve the identification of trafficked persons and their access to protection services. This is achieved through the provision of targeted trainings. As a member of the national working group against child trafficking as well as the national working group against human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, IOM Austria contributes to the development and implementation of Austria’s national action plans against human trafficking, which are renewed every three years. Furthermore, IOM Austria co-organizes the annual Vienna Conference against Trafficking in Human Beings, which is hosted by the Task Force on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings. IOM also assists trafficked persons to safely return to their countries of origin.


Katie Klaffenböck
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Country Office for Austria
Nibelungengasse 13/4
1010 Vienna

Tel: +43 1 585 33 22 46



Banner picture copyright: Mickey Kröll/OSCE, 2016