The Municipal Unit against Human Trafficking attended to 210 people in 2019

The annual report from the Municipal Unit against Human Trafficking (UTEH) for the years 2018 and 2019 offers a review of the situation of the 210 people attended to in the previous year and the 153 people in the year before and of the work being carried out in Barcelona to combat a crime that seriously violates human rights.

09/11/2020 14:54 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The unit’s users are mostly women (90%), from around the world (38 nationalities are involved, although the prevailing group are Nigerians), aged between 18 and 39 and who do not have their papers in order (66.66%), in some cases, even, facing expulsion proceedings. Despite being in the minority, more and more cases of men receiving assistance are being recorded (from 10 in 2018, to 21in 2019) and of people of the age of 40.

The women attended to have mainly suffered sexual exploitation (84%), and the men work exploitation. Even so, a growing range of different purposes has been detected and individuals too forced into domestic slavery, begging, crime and organ removal, in some cases, combining more than one type of exploitation.

Cases are mainly detected and referred through the Socio-Educational Assistance Service (SAS), Barcelona’s Guàrdia Urbana [city police], the Barcelona Social Emergencies Centre (CUESB) and organisations specialising in the long tradition of protecting human-trafficking victims, such as SICAR cat and the APIP-ACAM Foundation, with which close collaboration and joint action are being taken.


Especially notable services provided by the Municipal Unit against Human Trafficking include free legal advice and representation, which assisted 54 individuals between 2018 and 2019 and enabled the promotion of 10 residence permits and the granting of 12 residence permits for collaboration with the security forces. Other very important work includes an advice service and specialist counselling, which in 2019 attended to 22% more people than it did in 2017.

The UTEH was created in October 2016 and has been working ever since then to improve the services it offers, in particular by extending its accommodation services, offering legal advice and counselling and optimising coordination with other municipal services, such as SARA, PIADs and SAIER as well as basic and specialist social services.

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