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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                             

Republic of Austria

Austria is a well-developed market economy with skilled labor force and high standard of living. It is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's, but also the US’, its third-largest trade partner. Its economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector.

Austrian economic growth strengthen in 2017, with a 2.9% increase in GDP. Austrian exports, accounting for around 60% of the GDP, were up 8.2% in 2017. Austria’s unemployment rate fell by 0.3% to 5.5%, which is low by European standards, but still at its second highest rate since the end of World War II, driven by an increased number of refugees and EU migrants entering the labor market  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2021]

Description: Description: Austria

Austria is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Nigeria, and sub-Saharan Africa for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Some of these women are trafficked through Austria to Italy, France, and Spain. Women from Africa are trafficked through Spain and Italy to Austria for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There are reports of some trafficking of foreign women and children for the purpose of forced domestic servitude and forced begging within Austria.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here or a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Austria.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include possible precursors of trafficking such as poverty. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims


Austrian Criminal Police
Country code: 43



How the new Fagins are bringing child slavery to Britain

Olga Craig, Bojan Pancevski, and David Harrison, The Telegraph, 04 Jun 2006

[accessed 20 January 2011]

Two years ago, when she was 10, Dochka lost what was left of her innocence when she was sold to a band of child traffickers by her mother and aunt in Bulgaria. Bewildered and terrified, the little girl was transported to Austria, forced to learn the skills of a pickpocket and put to work.


*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Austria

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 10 May 2021]


NGOs noticed an upward trend in labor trafficking. Traffickers exploited men and women from Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and China in forced labor, primarily in restaurants, construction, agriculture, health care, and domestic service, including in diplomatic households. Seasonal migrants were especially vulnerable to labor trafficking, particularly during the harvest seasons. Traffickers exploited children, persons with physical and mental disabilities, and Roma in forced begging.


The law prohibits all of the worst forms of child labor. The minimum legal working age is 15, with the exception that children who are at least 13 may engage in certain forms of light work on family farms or businesses. Children age 15 and older are subject to the same regulations on hours, rest periods, overtime wages, and occupational health and safety restrictions as adults, but they are subject to additional restrictions on hazardous forms of work or for ethical reasons. Restrictions for hazardous jobs include work with materials considered dangerous for children, work in the sawmill business, on high-voltage pylons, and specified jobs in the construction business.

The labor inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor, Family, and Youth is responsible for enforcing child labor laws and policies in the workplace and did so effectively.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 7 July 2020]


According to the US State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Austrian government is making efforts to fight human trafficking; convictions and prosecutions for trafficking-related offenses have increased, although the courts “continued to issue light or suspended penalties for convicted traffickers.” The government has not appointed anyone to focus on this issue, which has limited their ability to evaluate the efficacy of their efforts. The government has made efforts at identifying victims among migrant populations.

Austria becomes int'l human trafficking transit point, destination

Xinhua News Agency, Vienna, Oct. 17, 2008

[accessed 20 January 2011]

Only recent years in Vienna, intercepted children from human trafficking was up to 1,300, according to the statistic of UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund).  Silhavy pointed out that Austria has become main transit point and destination of international human trafficking due to its geographical prepotency in middle Europe. Austria will not turn a blind eye to that, she added.  Besides enhancing international cooperation and striking against human trafficking crimes, the Austrian government will pay special attention to the victims, including providing psychological counseling and physical therapy, as well as the necessary humanitarian residence, Silhavy said.

Viennese police arrest nine for human trafficking

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Vienna, May 18, 2007

[accessed 20 January 2011]

Nine members of an international gang of human traffickers forcing young women into prostitution were arrested in Vienna.  The men, all of them Turkish citizens aged between 32 and 43, were arrested on Monday after several months of police investigation, Georg Rabensteiner of the Vienna police department said.  At least 20 women from Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria were brought to Austria for prostitution. It remained unclear how long the trafficking gang had been operated, as neither perpetrators nor victims are cooperating with the police.

Europe-Wide Human-Trafficking Ring Cracked

Associated Press AP & Reuters, May 29, 2006

[accessed 20 January 2011]

Authorities across Europe say they have arrested 41 Bulgarians in recent days after Italian police uncovered a trafficking network that exploited hundreds of children.  The arrests were in northern Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, and Austria. Italian police say another 75 people have been placed under investigation. Charges against the suspects include enslavement, human trafficking, and drug smuggling.

Trafficking in Women to Austria for Sexual Exploitation [PDF]

International Organization for Migration IOM, Migration Information Programme, ISBN 92-9068-056-3(c), June 1996

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 September 2011]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - The study describes how women are trafficked to Austria from Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). The ways in which these women were recruited and transported to Austria, and the methods that are used to control and exploit them are discussed. The study considers further how the police and the legal system have responded to this new trend, and discuss other policy issues that arise as a result of this development.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 28 January 2005

[accessed 20 January 2011]

[51] The Committee welcomes the State party's efforts in addressing the sexual abuse and child pornography, e.g. the National Plan of Action of 1998 against Sexual Abuse and Child Pornography in the Internet and through training of the police and other professionals. The Committee also notes the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2004, which contains a new regulation on trafficking in human beings.


2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 12 March 2019

[accessed 24 June 2019


Some migrants, both men and women, were subjected to trafficking for forced labor in the agriculture, construction, and restaurant/catering sectors. Some traffickers also subjected Romani children and persons with physical and mental disabilities to trafficking for forced begging.


The labor inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Consumer Protection is responsible for enforcing child labor laws and policies in the workplace, and did so effectively. Penalties in the form of fines may be doubled in cases of repeated violations of the child labor code. Penalties were sufficient to deter violations.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 4 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – While there were no accurate statistics on the number of trafficking victims, the NGO LEFOE reported assisting 167 trafficking victims in 2004, up from 142 victims in 2003. The majority of traffickers arrested by police were citizens; however, the number of foreigners engaged in trafficking increased between 2003 and 2004. Police estimated that a large portion of trafficking was controlled by organized crime, primarily from Eastern Europe. The country was attractive to traffickers because of its geographic location and because it does not require entry visas for citizens of the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Most trafficked women were brought to the country with promises of unskilled jobs, such as nannies or waitresses. Upon arrival they were often coerced into prostitution. According to police, there also were cases of women who knowingly entered the country to work as prostitutes, but were forced into dependency akin to slavery. Most victims were in the country illegally and feared being turned into authorities and deported. Traffickers usually retained victims' official documents, including passports, to maintain control over them. Trafficking victims reported being subjected to threats and physical violence. A major deterrent to victim cooperation was widespread fear of retribution, both in the country and in the victims' countries of origin

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