Eradicating human trafficking: Persistent risks call for strategic approach
Today, the Commission is presenting its Third Report on the progress made in the fight against human trafficking. Taking stock of measures taken since 2017, the report highlights recent trends in human trafficking, the particular complexities in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, and remaining challenges that the EU and Member States must address as a matter of priority.
Presenting the report at the Anti-trafficking Efforts: Results and Challenges event with national authorities and civil society, Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said:
“Human trafficking in the EU continues to evolve. Nearly half of all victims are EU citizens, many of whom are trafficked within their own country. Overwhelmingly, the victims are women and girls. We need to act to prevent the horrific crime of human trafficking, to assist and protect the victims, and to stop the culture of impunity of the perpetrators.”
Progress has been made in several areas, such as transnational cooperation particularly through referral mechanisms and as demonstrated through the joint efforts of Europol and Eurojust. However, the crime continues to evolve:
- Nearly half of the victims are EU citizens (49 %), and one third (34 %) of the victims were trafficked within their own EU Member State.
- The vast majority of trafficking victims are women and girls (72%). One in every four (22%) victims of trafficking is a child.
- While trafficking for sexual exploitation remains the predominant purpose for trafficking, labour exploitation is also reported. These are also linked to the context of migration.
- The number of prosecutions and convictions remains low in relation to the reported number of victims. In 2017/2018, 14,145 victims were registered, but there were only 6,163 prosecutions and 2,426 convictions.
- The crime is increasingly online as traffickers make increasing use of the internet and social media to recruit and exploit victims.
- The coronavirus pandemic exacerbates vulnerability to trafficking, causes delays in identifying victims and hinders access to justice, assistance and support.
The report outlines a number of priority areas for Member States to focus on effectively combatting human trafficking:
- A strong criminal justice response to make trafficking a ‘high risk, low profit' crime to counter the culture of impunity;
- More ambitious implementation of the Anti-Trafficking Directive to focus on prevention, including the criminalisation of those who knowingly use services provided by victims of trafficking;
- A victim-centred approach taking account of the gender dimension of the crime and ensuring the availability of personalised services that are multilingual, multidisciplinary and multi-agency;
- Increasing the use of criminal justice tools for freezing and confiscating criminal assets, including through the use of large-scale IT systems, such as the Visa Information System, Schengen Information System (SIS II), and Eurodac;
- Stepping up security cooperation between the EU and partner countries to address the transnational nature of the crime by identifying common security interests and building on established cooperation and security dialogues.
Latest News from
Parliament wants to grant EU consumers a “right to repair”27/11/2020 10:38:00
Parliament wants to boost sustainability by promoting reuse and repairs and by tackling practices that shorten the lifespan of products.
Steps to improve EU democracy ahead of 2024 elections27/11/2020 09:25:00
Parliament aims to enhance democracy and enable full participation in the European political space, based on lessons from the 2019 European elections.
MEPs set out blueprint for a new Industrial strategy27/11/2020 08:20:00
Parliament advocates a shift in the EU’s approach to industrial policy, to help businesses cope with the crisis and face the digital and environmental twin transitions.
Streamlining public procurement within the EU for more efficient public spending26/11/2020 16:43:00
The Council yesterday adopted a set of conclusions centred on how efficient public procurement rules and practices, combined with increased public spending, can accelerate the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and lead to a sustainable and more resilient EU economy.
Orange the World: NO to violence against women26/11/2020 15:25:00
The European Parliament is again joining the UN's Orange the World campaign to combat violence against women.
MEPs call on EU leaders to end MFF deadlock without giving in on rule of law26/11/2020 14:33:00
EP group leaders and the Commission advise Hungary and Poland to take the EU to Court on rule of law, instead of penalising EU citizens by blocking the budget.
Affordable, accessible and safe medicines for all: the Commission presents a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe26/11/2020 13:25:00
The Commission yesterday adopted a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe to ensure patients have access to innovative and affordable medicines and to support the competitiveness, innovative capacity and sustainability of the EU's pharmaceutical industry.
Successful third issuance of EU SURE bonds by the European Commission26/11/2020 12:38:00
The European Commission has issued a €8.5 billion social bond under the EU SURE instrument to help protect jobs and keep people in work.
Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with Moderna to ensure access to a potential vaccine26/11/2020 11:33:00
The European Commission yesterday approved a sixth contract under the EU Vaccines Strategy, this time with the pharmaceutical company Moderna.