Skip to main content


Back to Resources

Human Trafficking, Border Security and Related Corruption in the EU

16 October, 2013



Trafficking in human beings (THB), as a transnational crime, involves movement of people across borders. In this regard, border control authorities are expected to play an important role in preventing and curbing this phenomenon. Border guards are identified as key actors in fight against trafficking in human beings both in the new Directive 2011/36/EU and the associated EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings. The role of border guards in combating trafficking, is largely seen as in the role of “first responder” as part of the National Referral Mechanisms in identification of victims of trafficking, as well as for the identification and apprehension of traffickers within border control procedures. The growing commitment on the EU policy level for prevention of, and fighting against, trafficking of human beings, has also led to recognition of the issue as an important priority to border control authorities of all Member States as well. The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) has already recognised THB as one of its priorities and has developed a training manual for border guards related to THB and a handbook for Border Control Authorities on good practices to counter THB.

This paper Human Trafficking, Border Security and Related Corruption in the EU, by Atanas Rusev of the Center for Study of Democracy in Bulgaria, investigates the much under-researched aspect of corruption and human trafficking.  Rusev explores this topic vis-à-vis border authorities and connected corruption to facilitate, inter alia, THB and how this corruption can be related to the corporate sector and enter into the highest political spheres.