The EU has urged the bloc’s members to do more to combat human trafficking.
A European Commission report released on Monday said only six of the bloc’s 27 members had implemented new rules agreed two years ago.
They encourage member states to hand out tougher punishments to offenders, including seizing the proceeds from their criminal activities.
Cecila Malmström, the EU commissioner for Home Affairs, told euronews that she wanted to find out why there had been such a delay, as their deadline to act passed on April 6th.
She said: “I think it sends a bad signal to the increasing number of human trafficking victims.”
The latest available data shows there were nine thousand, five hundred and twenty eight victims in 2010, up from six thousand three hundred and nine in 2008.
Malmström continued, “It has been difficult to get convictions for human trafficking, but perhaps it will become easier with this directive but there is really a common definition agreed upon between EU countries.”
EU directives are pieces of legislation that set down clear goals for one or several member states to achieve. But how a country goes about achieving those goals is up to them.