The Austrian Development Agency promotes the engagement of migrants in Austria to support development in their home countries. Projects and programmes also help migrants return to and reintegrate in their home countries and prevent groups at risk from falling victim to human trafficking or smuggling. Moreover,  measures are taken to improve the conditions of life and prospects for the population in partner countries and to strengthen peace and security, such as for example  combating human trafficking and smuggling, or creating educational, training and income opportunities. Other measures are strengthening the rights of migrants and providing humanitarian aid for refugees and internally displaced persons in host countries and in crisis situations.

Combating human trafficking

Human trafficking is a grave violation of fundamental human rights. The United Nations reports that about 2.4 million people a year fall victim to human trafficking worldwide, with women and children most frequently afflicted. Most human trafficking victims come from poorer EU countries or also developing countries, where they have to struggle with violence in the family, a low standard of education, unemployment or poverty. A common motivation is the hope of finding a ‘better life’. Due to its location at the centre of Europe, Austria is both a transit and destination country for human traffickers. The republic is state signatory to all relevant international legal instruments against human trafficking. In April 2015, the Austrian Task Force on Combating Human Trafficking adopted the new National Action Plan 2015-2017. The Austrian Development Agency supports projects in home and transit countries to prevent human trafficking, particularly of women and children. It promotes capacity development, of law enforcement authorities for victim and witness protection, for example, and assists in networking institutions and civil-society organisations.