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Recent EU developments with regard to action against trafficking in human beings

Date Published: 06-12-2012

Adoption of conclusions on the new EU strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012 -2016 (11780/12) took place at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting at the end of October 2012.

The conclusions:

  • Emphasized the need to ‘identify, assist, support, protect and compensate’ victims of trafficking and affirmed both the need for more efficient EU internal and external cooperation in the area and an integrated approach.
  • Noting that the European Commission had appointed an Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, highlighted the prospective transposition by Member States of Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.
  • Asked EU agencies to step up efforts, as previous agreed in the 2011 Joint Statement signed by EU JHA agencies, to address trafficking in a coordinated, coherent and comprehensive manner with Member States, EU institutions and other partners.
  • Recommended that the European Commission makes efforts to mainstream counter trafficking in relevant strategies.

The Committee of the Regions Draft Opinion on "The EU strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings 2012-2016" made a number of recommendations including:

  • The potential role of the Committee in discussions regarding the development of an EU transnational referral mechanism and guidelines for victim identification and child protection systems.
  • The role of local and regional authorities in the provision of information on the rights of victims as contained in the Strategy.
  • Encouraged the European Commission to cooperate with, and take account of the experience and knowledge which many local authorities and voluntary organisations may have on the subject, particularly in efforts to promote EU-wide information campaigns
  • Called for all police officers to be informed about crimes related to human trafficking and how to recognise signs.

During 2013, the EMN will conduct a study on the "Identification of trafficking victims in asylum/migration/return procedures".

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