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.

Access more information about IOM's global approach to combating trafficking in persons.

IOM also contributes to the policy dialogue at the EU level. See details here.

Counter-trafficking in Austria

Austria is affected by human trafficking both as a transit country and country of destination. Men, women and children are trafficking 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.


Take Action!

Information on how consumers and private companies can reduce human trafficking can be found here.

Learn more about human trafficking and what you can do about it at (German language).


Katie Klaffenböck 

+43 (0)1 585 33 22 46


Banner picture copyright: Mickey Kröll/OSCE, 2016