Germany: over 900 human trafficking arrests in 2016, mostly on Austrian border
Welt am Sonntag cited Germany’s Interior Ministry data listing 900 human traffickers detained during 2016, mostly on the border with Austria.
Most of the smugglers, 481, were caught on the Austrian border by December 2016. On the borders with Poland and Czech Republic, 155 and 106 people were arrested respectively. Forty five arrests were made on the Belgian border, and almost 90 traffickers were caught entering from France. Germany’s airport security registered 23 arrests for 2016.
Despite the staggering number of arrests, rates of human trafficking has actually dropped from the record-breaking 2015, when all of Europe was overwhelmed by the Middle East refugee and migration crisis.
The German Federal Police detained 3,370 suspects in 2015, according to the German paper.
Authorities say the decrease in migration to Germany is as a result of the closure of the Balkan route which used to be most popular passageway into EU, until the bloc negotiated an agreement with Turkey to send those crossing illegally back.
According to Frontex, the Europen Union’s agency to manage the cooperation among national border guards, some 764,038 migrants made an illegal border crossing via the Balkan route in 2016, compared to 122,557 between January and November in 2015.
A heated debate is ongoing in the EU over migration policies coinciding with increased terrorist acts and threats, but NOT the human trafficking crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has particularly been singled out, particularly for her so called ‘open-door’ immigration policy which resulted in over 1 million migrants entering Germany in 2015.
Even the Wikipedia page on the topic notes that “The government did not take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or focus public awareness on potential clients in some of Germany’s best known red light districts, such as the one in Hamburg” and the delay before “The government sustained a partnership with ECPAT to promote awareness of the child sex tourism problem; there were no reports of new prosecutions for child sex tourism by German citizens abroad during the reporting period. The government provided trafficking awareness training to commanders of German military units prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions; the training focused on how the commanders could sensitize subordinates to human trafficking…”