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EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings 2021- 2025 / COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS — 14.4.2021

EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings 2021- 2025 / COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS — 14.4.2021
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1. Intro­duc­tion

Traf­fick­ing in human beings destroys indi­vid­u­als’ lives by depriv­ing peo­ple of their dig­ni­ty, free­dom and fun­da­men­tal rights.1 It is often a vio­lent crime com­mit­ted by organ­ised crime net­works. It should have no place in today’s society.

Yet, traf­fick­ing in human beings is a glob­al phe­nom­e­non. It hap­pens in every coun­try and every region. It con­tin­ues to hap­pen in the Euro­pean Union, too. Accord­ing to the lat­est avail­able data, between 2017 and 2018, there were more than 14 000 reg­is­tered victims2 with­in the Euro­pean Union.3 The actu­al num­ber is like­ly to be sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er as many vic­tims remain undetected.4 Near­ly half of the vic­tims of traf­fick­ing with­in the Euro­pean Union are EU nation­als and a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of them are traf­ficked with­in their own Mem­ber State. The major­i­ty of the vic­tims in the EU are women and girls traf­ficked for sex­u­al exploita­tion. Almost every fourth vic­tim of traf­fick­ing in the EU is a child.5 The

major­i­ty of traf­fick­ers in the EU are EU cit­i­zens and near­ly three quar­ters of per­pe­tra­tors men. This crime brings high prof­its to crim­i­nals and car­ries with it enor­mous human, social and eco­nom­ic costs. In the EU, the eco­nom­ic cost is esti­mat­ed to be up to EUR 2.7 bil­lion in a sin­gle year.6

Fig­ure 1 Repar­ti­tion of reg­is­tered vic­tims by form of exploita­tion in the EU in 2017 and 2018

Fig­ure 2 Repar­ti­tion of reg­is­tered vic­tims by sex in the EU in 2017 and 2018

1 See Arti­cle 83(1) of the Treaty on the Func­tion­ing of the Euro­pean Union and Arti­cle 5(3) of the Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights of the Euro­pean Union.
2 63.7% of iden­ti­fied vic­tims and 36.3% of pre­sumed victims.
3 All EU-27 lev­el data on vic­tims in the doc­u­ment con­cerns years 2017 and 2018. Source: Data Col­lec­tion on Traf­fick­ing in Human beings in the EU (2020); COM(2020) 661 final, 20.10.2020.

4 COM(2020) 661 final, 20.10.2020 and SWD(2020) 226 final, 20.10.2020.
5 Arti­cle 2(6) of Direc­tive 2011/36/EU defines the term ‘child’ mean­ing any per­son below 18 years of age.
6 Study on the eco­nom­ic, social and human costs of traf­fick­ing in human beings with­in the EU (2020); at: https://ec.europa.eu/anti- trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/study_on_the_economic_social_and_human_costs_of_trafficking_in_huma n_beings_within_the_eu.pdf.

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Com­bat­ting traf­fick­ing in human beings has long been a pri­or­i­ty for the Euro­pean Union.7 Over the years, progress has been made in many respects. Coop­er­a­tion among key actors, includ­ing at polit­i­cal lev­el, between law enforce­ment and judi­cial author­i­ties, in both nation­al and transna­tion­al con­texts, led to pros­e­cu­tions and con­vic­tions as well as improved iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, assis­tance and sup­port to vic­tims. Aware­ness rais­ing cam­paigns, edu­ca­tion pro­grammes and train­ing ini­tia­tives were car­ried out to reduce the risks of peo­ple becom­ing vic­tims of traf­fick­ing. Stud­ies and reports increased knowl­edge about the phe­nom­e­non, thus con­tribut­ing to devel­op­ing ade­quate response strategies.8

Despite the progress achieved, traf­fick­ing in human beings remains a seri­ous threat in the Euro­pean Union, endan­ger­ing thou­sands of indi­vid­u­als every year, par­tic­u­lar­ly women and chil­dren. Traf­fick­ers prey on social inequal­i­ties as well as eco­nom­ic and social vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of peo­ple, which have been exac­er­bat­ed by the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, mak­ing it eas­i­er for per­pe­tra­tors to find vic­tims. The pan­dem­ic also hin­dered vic­tims’ access to jus­tice, assis­tance and sup­port, and ham­pered the crim­i­nal jus­tice response to the crime. More­over, traf­fick­ers moved to a new busi­ness mod­el of online recruit­ment and exploita­tion of victims,9 mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for law enforce­ment and the judi­cia­ry to respond.

This strat­e­gy iden­ti­fies key pri­or­i­ties with the objec­tive of com­bat­ting traf­fick­ing in human beings more effec­tive­ly. It pro­pos­es con­crete actions, which will be devel­oped in full respect of fun­da­men­tal rights, to iden­ti­fy and stop traf­fick­ing ear­ly on, to go after crim­i­nals by turn­ing traf­fick­ing from a low-risk and high-return crime to high-risk and low-return crime, and to pro­tect the vic­tims and help them rebuild their lives.

Since traf­fick­ing in human beings is a par­tic­u­lar­ly seri­ous form of organ­ised crime, this strat­e­gy is close­ly inter­linked with the EU Strat­e­gy to Tack­le Organ­ised Crime 2021–2025. While the holis­tic pri­or­i­ties and key actions of the strat­e­gy against organ­ised crime apply to traf­fick­ing in human beings, this strat­e­gy responds to the spe­cif­ic aspects of the crime of human trafficking.

ADLAUDATOSI INTEGRAL ECOLOGY FORUM WEBINARS

Religious Helping Trafficking Victims along the Road of Recovery (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Religious Working In International Advocacy Against Human Trafficking (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Impact Of Human Trafficking On Health: Trauma (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Impact Of Human Trafficking On Health: Healing (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

International Prosecution Of Human Trafficking — Where Are We Now? (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

International Prosecution Of Human Trafficking — What can be done? (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

International Prosecution Of Human Trafficking — Best Practices (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Demand As Root Cause For Human Trafficking – Sex Trafficking & Prostitution

OUR MISSION:

THE PURPOSE IS TO SHARE BEST PRACTICES AND PROMOTE ACTIONS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

WE MAKE AVAILABLE TO YOU GUIDES AND RESEARCH ON TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS FROM THE MOST RECOGNISED LEGAL AND OPERATIONAL ACTORS.

Human Trafficking — Interview with Prof. Michel Veuthey, Order of Malta — 44th UN Human Right Council 2020

POPE’S PAYER INTENTION FOR FEBRUARY 2020: Hear the cries of migrants victims of human trafficking

FRANCE — BLOG DU COLLECTIF “CONTRE LA TRAITE DES ÊTRES HUMAINS”

Church on the frontlines in fight against human trafficking

Holy See — PUBLICATION OF PASTORAL ORIENTATIONS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING 2019

RIGHT TO LIFE AND HUMAN DIGNITY GUIDEBOOK

Catholic social teaching

Doctrine sociale de l’Église catholique

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