Last year, SEF identified 54 victims of human trafficking, most of them for labour exploitation.

Contacted by Lusa, the Human Trafficking Observatory (OTSH), said that data for 2022 are still being determined.

In the reply sent to Lusa, signed by Rita Penedo, head of the OTSH team, it is said that the Alentejo is the region of the country with the most signs of presumed victims and, at the same time, with the most victims confirmed by the authorities.

According to OTSH, this expressiveness of signs is related to labour exploitation in the agriculture sector. In certain situations, a single investigation may indicate a high number of presumed victims.

The Observatory also points out that there are situations that refer to football and, as an example, mentioned a 2021 investigation that identified six alleged victims of Colombian nationals.

The OTSH also indicates that the observed trend is that Portugal is mainly a country of destination, that is, the presumed victims of foreign nationality are recruited either in the country of their nationality or in other countries where they are residing and, subsequently, trafficked to Portugal.

The 2021 Annual Report on Internal Security (RASI) indicates that cases of trafficking in human beings in Portugal increased by 38.9% last year compared to 2020, with 318 situations having been identified, against 229 in 2020.