Trafficking in human beings is a global crime that occurs in most countries around the world. Its essence is to enslave people using a variety of methods and means for use even with their consent. Human trafficking and modern day slavery is a real epidemic of today.


27 – 36 million people worldwide in captivity

It is estimated that 27-36 million people world wide are currently living in captivity

of which 80% of them are used in prostitution and / or pornographic industry.

Even about 128 thousand people in Poland live in captivity.

In Poland, only an average of 300 people a year receive help and shelter,

 that is less than 0.3% of the victims.

1 per 100 receive help


Increasingly often, alongside human trafficking, there is also the phenomenon of modern day slavery or forced labour. These bear many of the hallmarks of human trafficking, but from a legal point of view, they do not exhaust all the prerequisites. They are often crimes bordering on violation of labour rights, but in practice much more serious.  However, all structures existing in Poland for preventing and combating these and related crimes, together with structures for assisting victims, are placed under the term human trafficking. 

Victims are most often abused in:

– forced labor

– prostitution and porn industry

– begging

– extortion of social benefits

– forcing to commit crimes, including theft

– domestic slavery also with sexual abuse

– organs transplantation

– forced marriage

– illegal adoptions, that look like legal

– cybertrafficking and cyberslavery

– child trafficking in all listed forms

Trafficking in human beings in Poland:


Poland is at the same time a country of:

origin for victims abducted to: Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, France and Finland.

transit for victims from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Belgium and Romania

destination for victims from: Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, Vietnam, Philippines, Sri Lanka

Poland is characterized by a high level of inter human trafficking – trafficking Polish citizens within the country.


The threat of human trafficking affects everyone, regardless of their material status or place of residence, including people from rural areas.


The main obligatory document in Poland defining tasks in the field of preventing trafficking in human beings is the National Action Plan Against Trafficking in Human Beings (KPD). It aims to fully implement Poland’s commitments in the area of ​​prevention, support and protection of victims, and prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking and to further strengthen international cooperation on various planes.

The document contains:

– current information determining the scale of the phenomenon concerning Poland, forms of abuse, statistical data, countries of origin of victims

– international context and conditions

– directions for Poland for the coming years

– sources of financing public tasks and KPD implementation

– structure: KPD implementation and monitoring system

– scope of KPD implementation activities (preventive measures, support and protection of victims, prosecution of trafficking in human beings, training activities, research on issue, evaluation of activities and legislative changes)

International conditions determining the direction of Poland and partner countries’ actions against human trafficking:


European Union


Directives, Strategy and other related documents and structures create an EU legal framework that comprehensively regulates the area of ​​combating trafficking in human beings and sets the direction for EU and Member State action. These are:


  • Article 5 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
  • Entries in the European Internal Security Strategy
  • Stockholm program announced in 2010.
  • Council Directive 2004/81 / EC of 29 April 2004 adopted by the European Union.
  • Informal Network of National Rapporteurs / Equivalent Mechanisms for Trafficking in Human Beings Established by the European Union in 2009.
  • EU Coordinator for Trafficking in Human Beings – appointed in December 2010.
  • Directive 2011/36 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011.
  • Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, announced in June 2012 by the European Commission: EU strategy to eliminate trafficking in human beings for 2012-2016.
  • In April 2015, the European Commission announced the European Security Agenda, replacing the 2010 Internal Security Strategy.
  • In May 2015, the European Commission announced the European program on migration.


United Nations

Poland is also a party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its complementary protocols, including the Protocol on the prevention, combating and punishment of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children.

The United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons was developed by the United Nations in 2010.

Support for these goals is provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which adopted a comprehensive strategy in the fight against human trafficking and smuggling in 2012.


The Council of Europe

Poland is a party to the Council of Europe Convention on actions against trafficking in human beings, prepared in Warsaw on May 16, 2005, which entered into force on March 1, 2009 (Journal of Laws No. 20, item 107). Under the Convention, there is a mechanism for evaluating its implementation, for which GRETA (the Group of Experts for Action Against Human Trafficking) is responsible.


Council of the Baltic Sea States

Counteracting trafficking in human beings is also one of the priorities of the Council of Baltic Sea States. A Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings operates within the framework of the CBSS to strengthen the cooperation of the Member States, actions to improve the protection and support of victims and the development of legislative measures.


*Source: National Action Plan Against Trafficking in Persons 2019-2021