Twenty-eight countries teamed up with Europol to thwart organized crime groups involved in trafficking in human beings across the European Union and beyond. During the operational activities of the EU-wide Joint Action Day (JAD) named Ciconia Alba, one part of the intelligence-led police actions and controls focused explicitly on sexual exploitation and child trafficking.

Data gathered during the operations led to the launch of 102 new investigations in order to identify further suspects and victims linked to human trafficking cases across the EU. The JAD took place October 10-16, 2016.

Trafficking in human beings is a global problem and a thriving criminal industry that affects the lives of millions of children, women and men around the world. The nationality of the victims of human trafficking identified, and the suspects arrested during the JAD Ciconia Alba, confirm the prominence of trafficking network originating from Nigeria, Asia and Eastern-Europe as being the most active in the EU. 

During the JAD, investigators put an emphasis on cases related to facilitated illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking and cybercrime.