EP calls for more robust measures against all forms of trafficking

They focused on protection of women, children and migrants

For more robust measures against all forms of trafficking and for revising 2011 EU Anti-trafficking Directive , asked MEPs in a report adopted with a wide majority during the plenary session in Brussels.

They said that the use of sexual services provided by trafficking victims must be criminalised and urged for harder measures to tackle its proliferation.

Lawmakers also warned that asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, especially women and unaccompanied minors, are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and  Covid-19 has worsened their situation.

Given that number of registered victims in international protection procedures is very low, MEPs called on the EU countries to ensure that anti-trafficking and asylum procedures are interconnected.

They also underscored the special needs of victims such LGBTI people, persons with disabilities and emphasized that people from racialised groups including Roma are often overlooked.

Co-rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D,ES) pointed out that EP calls on the Commission to revise the anti-trafficking directive, so that all Member States explicitly criminalise the use of services provided by victims of trafficking. We have to support and help victims, and guarantee the end of the culture of impunity surrounding this transnational crime, he said.

“Human trafficking violates life, physical and mental integrity, sexual freedom and human dignity,  said co-rapporteur Maria Soraya Rodriguez Ramos (Renew, ES). According to her it dehumanises individuals and turns them into objects for sale, predominantly targeting women and girls for sexual exploitation, who are trafficked by men. The alarming increase in the trafficking of children affects undocumented migrants in particular, she added.

MEPs regret the absence of comparable and detailed data on the scale of trafficking across the EU, and demand that cooperation among member states to fight what are often transnational crimes be reinforced.

As lawmakers pointed out the internet, social media and new technologies are used to attract and trap potential victims of trafficking, including children. In the report MEPs called on the Commission and EU countries to address the use of online technologies in both the proliferation and the prevention of trafficking.

Parliament stressed as well that nearly a quarter of all victims are children, and called on Member States to develop specific measures to protect and assist them.

They noted that the exploitation of victims of trafficking might take several forms, such as labour exploitation, forced begging, forced and sham marriage, forced criminality, but also the selling of babies, organ removal or illegal adoption.

 

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