Human Rights & Democracy

EU Anti-Trafficking Day: Stronger action needed to fight trafficking in human beings

18/10/2017 - 12:38
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Trafficking in human beings is the slavery of our times. Victims are often recruited, transported or harboured by force, coercion or fraud in exploitative conditions, including sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, begging, criminal activities, or the removal of organs. It is a severe violation of individual freedom and dignity and a serious form of crime, that often has implications which individual countries cannot effectively address on their own.

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The European Union's policy for addressing trafficking in human beings is comprehensive focusing on prevention, protection of victims, prosecution of criminals, and the developing partnerships with the various actors involved. This approach is human rights based, victims centred, gender specific and child sensitive.

The political commitment at EU level to address the problem of trafficking in human beings is reflected in the large number of initiatives, measures and funding programmes established in the area both within the EU and third countries.

 "It is imperative that all authorities and stakeholders strengthen their work on prevention by untangling the complex chain of trafficking, reducing demand, following the money and ensuring better access to justice for the victims. We stand ready to further support our Member States and cooperate more closely with our international partners in working towards eradicating trafficking in human beings," said the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos.

On 4 December the European Commission put forward a list of concrete actions to better prevent the trafficking in human beings. Building on the EU strategy and in light of recent migratory, economic and security challenges, the priorities set out by the Commission identify key areas that require immediate action from the EU and Member States to disrupt the modus operandi of traffickers, strengthen victims' rights and intensify internal and external efforts.