A discussion forum for students was held by the secretaries of the Local Commissions for Combating Human Trafficking in Sliven, Burgas and Blagoevgrad

In order to build on the regional policies for prevention of the crime of trafficking in human beings, prevention of labour exploitation and interaction with the academic community, the secretaries of the Local Commissions for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (LCCTHB) in Sliven, Burgas and Blagoevgrad held a discussion forum on "Countering trafficking in human beings for forced labour".

The event was attended by over 80 students and lecturers from the Technical University - Sofia, Faculty and College, Burgas. Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov University, Burgas and South University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad.

Rositsa Yaneva, Secretary of the LCCTHB - Burgas gave an overview of the crime of human trafficking, Lyubka Kostadinova, Secretary of the LCCTHB - Blagoevgrad synthesized the root causes of the development of modern slavery, Vladimir Drumev, Secretary of the LCCTHB - Sliven presented up-to-date information on human trafficking for labour exploitation in the European context.

Emphasis was placed on the migratory refugee flows in connection with the war in the Republic of Ukraine and the resulting social and economic changes, which are a prerequisite for an alarming increase in the scale of the crime.

After having a fruitful discussion with the participants and discussing specific case studies, the second part of the event was joined by Mihail Stefanov, a consultant and trainer with many years of experience in organizing and conducting prevention activities in the field of human trafficking. Specialised video material was presented showing the risky situations young people face in the process of finding employment.

According to the latest figures from the European Commission, trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation affects around a quarter, or 26%, of registered victims within the European Union.

Victims are exploited in the construction, agriculture and forestry, manufacturing, catering, hospitality, entertainment, care, cleaning and domestic service, fishing, retail and transport sectors.

The Internet and the misuse of technology have become a major part of the traffickers' business model and are present at every stage of the crime, from targeting and recruitment, through control and coercion, to exploitation.