Our member The Salvation Army EU Affairs Office has recently published its comments on the European Commission’s third report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings. This Report identifies key patterns and challenges in addressing trafficking in human beings provides an analysis of statistics and outlines the results of anti-trafficking actions.
The progress report identifies as continuing challenges the low number of victims identified, the culture of impunity, and the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to an intensification of criminal activities and victims who find themselves further trapped by their traffickers.
The information in the report was collected with the assistance of national rapporteurs and equivalent mechanisms, the civil society platform against trafficking in human beings, and contributions from relevant EU agencies. The Salvation Army European Affairs Office holds a seat on the civil society platform and contributed to this report with feedback gained from national contact persons and input from the mapping report questionnaire.
Our member was pleased to see a focus on the trafficking of Roma, the migration and gender dimension of trafficking for sexual exploitation, and the need for a harmonisation of asylum procedures and victim identification. Furthermore, the office of the anti-trafficking coordinator has repeatedly emphasized the need to criminalise on the EU level the knowing use of services of victims of trafficking. The acknowledgement of these issues is the first step in the direction of a modernisation of the legislative framework of trafficking and towards framing the issue and funding that acknowledges the added vulnerability dimensions of migration, gender, and ethnic status, including Roma. Additionally, the full implementation of the Anti-Trafficking Directive in all member states and the full realization of the rights of victims of trafficking is urgently needed.
As noted in the report, “The number of prosecutions and convictions remains low, whereas the number of victims remains high. The rather diverse legal landscape on criminalising the use of services exacted from victims of trafficking may hamper further efforts to discourage demand for such services. When victims receive assistance, support, and protection, their needs are not taken into account as regards the forms of exploitation they are subjected to, their gender and age, and their specific needs and circumstances. Data recording and reporting remain inconsistent. The concerns identified to highlight the poor implementation of the Anti-trafficking Directive in Member States, and it needs to be further stepped up.”
The insufficient progress made and evolving trends call for a new strategic approach towards eradicating trafficking, which will be developed in the context of the Agenda on tackling organized crime. The Salvation Army European Affairs Office strongly agrees with the need to step up anti-trafficking work on all levels to ensure that victims of trafficking are protected and receive justice for the crimes committed against them and believe that the modernization of the framework is needed to accomplish this.
To know more about the challenges in addressing trafficking in human beings in Europe, please check the latest European Commission’s report on anti-trafficking.