A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

Human trafficking 2018___

IOM/Amanda Nero Almost half of identified cases of child trafficking begin with some family member involvement, UN Migration Agency (IOM) reported.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Today, the European Commission is presenting its Second Report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings.

Taking stock of measures taken since 2015, the report highlights the main trends in trafficking in human beings and outlines remaining challenges that the EU and Member States must address as a matter of priority.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: “Thousands of human beings are still trafficked every year in the European Union. This happens right under our watch – to women, children, to EU and non-EU citizens. Despite progress in some areas, there is an imperative need to end the culture of impunity for perpetrators and abusers. It is time for law enforcement and justice authorities across Member States to further step up cooperation and duly enforce existing legislation to catch those involved in this heinous crime, and offer effective and rightful protection to the victims”.

The EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Myria Vassiliadou, said: “The findings of this second report are encouraging but at the same time concerning. A lot has been achieved but our ultimate goal must remain eradicating the crime, we owe this to the victims. We have a rich toolbox at EU level ready to be fully implemented and ensure that no victims remain invisible.”

The report shows that 20,532 men, women and children were registered as victims of trafficking in the EU in 2015-2016. However, the actual number is likely to be significantly higher as many victims remain undetected. Women and girls continue to be most vulnerable to trafficking (68%) while children represent 23% of registered victims. Trafficking for sexual exploitation remains the most widespread form (56%), followed by trafficking for labour exploitation (26%). The level of prosecutions and convictions is low, with 5,979 prosecutions and 2,927 convictions reported and only 18 reported convictions for knowingly using services provided by victims. The report also highlights an increase in trafficking within Member States and targeting of younger victims and persons with disabilities. The use of Internet and social media to recruit victims is also noted as well as the heightened risk of trafficking in the context of migration.

While there have been certain improvements, particularly in relation to cross-border cooperation (demonstrated by the joint efforts of Europol and Eurojust), the phenomenon continues to evolve. As a result, the Commission outlines a number of priority areas for Member States to focus on to effectively combat trafficking in human beings:

  •  Improved data collection: Member States should improve the recording and registration of data particularly on gender, age, forms of exploitation, citizenship of victims and perpetrators, as well as on assistance and protection;
  • Countering the culture of impunity: EU rules already allow for the criminalisation of those who knowingly use services provided by victims of trafficking and the Commission encourages the Member States to implement those provisions in their national laws;
  • Promoting a coordinated response: Member States should continue enhancing transnational law enforcement and judicial cooperation while at the same time promoting cooperation with non-EU countries;
  • Ensuring victims’ access to justice: Member States are encouraged to give effect to national legislation by ensuring tools are in place for early identification of victims, providing access to compensation, and promoting appropriate training and capacity building of relevant professionals.

Since the release of a first progress report, the Commission has taken numerous steps to address trafficking in human beings and will continue to assist Member States in their efforts, through both financial support and operational measures.


Trafficking in human beings is a violation of fundamental rights, and is explicitly prohibited under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The EU Anti-trafficking Directive adopted in 2011 put forward a victim-centred, gender-specific and child-sensitive approach to address trafficking in human beings, establishing robust provisions on victims’ protection, assistance and support, as well as on prevention and prosecution of the crime. Under the Directive, Member States must report to the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator who in turn contributes to the Commission’s bi-annual progress report.

On 4 December 2017, the Commission published a Communication outlining its priority actions to address trafficking in human beings. Today’s report includes an update on the actions taken under this Communication and its findings will feed into the Communication’s further implementation. Today’s report also includes an update on the application of EU rules on residence permits for victims of trafficking (Directive 2004/81/EC).


the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

It’s ‘time for concrete action’ says UN chief, welcoming inter-Korean agreement

EU deal on electricity market rules to benefit both consumers and environment

Brexit: reciprocal visa-free access for EU and UK nationals

Global economy to see ‘steady’ growth of three per cent in 2019 despite risks, says UN

Alcohol abuse kills three million people a year, most of them men – WHO report

MEPs react to breaches of human rights in Moldova, Burundi and Somalia

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

From sun-powered trikes to mind-controlled TV – 10 top gadgets unveiled at CES 2020

Alarming number of Ebola deaths in DRC a ‘rallying cry’ to scale up treatment

Strength in unity: Commission makes recommendations for the EU’s next strategic agenda 2019-2024

Yemen: UN Envoy ‘guilty’ of optimistic hope that war is ‘nearing the end’

You might soon be travelling without a passport – this is how

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

Access to health in the developped and developing world

‘Still time’ to stop a ‘bloody battle’ for Libya’s capital, insists Guterres

Humane leadership must be the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s real innovation

Russia to cut gas supplies again: can the EU get back to growth without a solid energy market?

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

UN agency assists Central American caravan migrants, voices concern for receiving countries

Parliament makes it easier to organise a European Citizens’ Initiative

Keeping cool in the face of climate change

Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy

We have to fight for a fairer tech industry for women

How we overhauled healthcare amid Venezuela’s crisis

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

38th ACP-EU Assembly: dialogue on cooperation challenges in Kigali

A Valentine’s Special: giving back, a dialogue of love

Trump blocks US warmongers from bombing Iran

Batteries can power sustainable development. Here’s how

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

How to build a model for human security in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

Coronavirus: Commission boosts budget for repatriation flights and rescEU stockpile

Attempt to defy international law over Golan Heights sovereignty ‘doomed to failure’ Security Council hears

‘Do everything in your power to tackle climate change’ UN chief urges on Mother Earth Day

ECB tied in the anti-monetary German ideology

GSMA Mobile 360: Connecting Cities, Connecting Lives, Connecting Europe

UN chief welcomes formation of unity government in Madagascar

Tackling youth unemployment through the eyes of a European entrepreneur

Questions directors need to ask in the age of stakeholder capitalism

The true EU unemployment rate may have soared to 21.9%

UN human rights chief fears world has grown numb to Syrian carnage

Eurobarometer survey: Majority of EU citizens positive about international trade

One in three children do not get the nutrition they need

MEPs demand Bulgaria’s and Romania’s swift accession to Schengen area

Do doctors need to know their patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity?

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

We must build resilience to face the future – but will we be fast enough?

European Commission requests that Italy presents a revised draft budgetary plan for 2019

Greek-Turkish border: MEPs reject Turkey’s pressure, demand common asylum rules

Farmers on the frontline in battle against drug-resistant microbes: UN health agency

Inspiring young doctors: the beginning of the change

One-in-five suffers mental health condition in conflict zones, new UN figures reveal

Primary Health Care: in a world of specializations

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s