The bulletin "Human Trafficking: Statistics on Justice 2008-2020", produced by the OTSH in cooperation with the Directorate General for Justice Policy, states that crimes of human trafficking represent 0.3 percent of all crimes against personal liberty registered in Portugal in 12 years.
According to the document, the districts of Lisbon and Beja were those that registered the highest number of crimes of human trafficking between 2008 and 2020, accounting for 70 and 32 respectively.
The bulletin reports that the year with the most crimes recorded was 2019, with 58.
"Between 2009 and 2012 there is a downward trend in the annual number of crimes recorded by the police authorities. Between 2013 and 2015 there is an annual increase. With a drop recorded between 2016-2017 and between 2018-2019 the number of crimes recorded again shows an increase, with 2019 being the most representative year with 81 crimes recorded," reads the document, which indicates 2020 as the year with fewer crimes of trafficking in persons and the one that accounts for "a more significant decrease in relation to the homologous period (-40 crimes)".
The Observatory also revealed that between 2008-2020, there were a total of 52 criminal cases in the trial phase of trafficking in persons and 234 defendants.
Most of the defendants were Portuguese nationals and men.
According to the bulletin, 126 defendants were convicted during that period in criminal cases at the trial stage for the crime of trafficking in persons, 63 of whom were sentenced to prison and 44 to probation, and 87 were acquitted for "lack of evidence".