Trafficking is a world-wide problem which is receiving increased attention, because it threatens the security of nations and the human rights of many people.  Traffickers exploit people’s desire to go abroad or to a big city, looking for a better life away from poverty, unemployment, and economic and gender inequality.  Attractive job offers can make people change their residence and start working for criminals.

Although human trafficking is not a new problem in the world, it became a serious matter in Europe in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Opened borders toward the east, no borders in Western Europe, technological advances and the mobility of people globally have contributed to the growth in international organized crime and to the rapid and extensive spread of trafficking.  Estonia did not remain untouched by this problem.

Active combating of trafficking began in Estonia in 2002 when the Nordic Council of Ministers funded the Nordic and Baltic Campaign Against Trafficking in Women.  At the same time, International Organization for Migration (IOM) carried out the media campaign “You are being sold like a doll”.  In the course of the Campaign, sociological research on trafficking was begun in Estonia.