The victims of human trafficking are often the most vulnerable in society – the poor, minorities, women and children. The EU approach to tackling the trafficking of human beings encompasses law enforcement, prevention and victim support.
A proposal to strengthen existing EU legislation on human trafficking was unveiled by the European Commission in March 2010. The document addresses the problem on several fronts:
An Action Plan on human trafficking also defines best practices, standards and procedures for combating and preventing trafficking in human beings.
The EU’s current law and order agenda – known as the Stockholm Programme – is further streamlining EU action by bringing together the internal and external aspects of prevention, as well as establishing an anti-trafficking coordinator.
As with other human rights issues, the EU raises trafficking in political dialogues with third countries, within multilateral and regional fora, and at the level of cooperation programmes, for example in development.
Financial assistance is made available through the EU programme on migration and asylum, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the programme Investing in People.