EU fears trafficking spike at Euro 2012, Olympics

AP News
Posted: Oct 18, 2011 8:32 AM
EU fears trafficking spike at Euro 2012, Olympics

European Union officials say they are concerned that there could be an increase in human trafficking next year in connection with two major sporting events _ the Olympics in London and the European football championship in Poland and Ukraine.

Myria Vassiliadou, the EU's anti-trafficking coordinator, says "sporting events are a hub for criminal gangs" and that it appears that similar large sporting events in the past have been accompanied by a spike in prostitution and trafficking.

Vassiliadou spoke to reporters Tuesday in Warsaw at an EU conference on human trafficking.

She said fighting human trafficking rests largely with the EU nations, leaving Brussels with little power to crack down on it, but that the EU was trying to raise awareness of the problem.