Friday, May 13, 2016

EU laws to protect human trafficking victims not being enforced: MEPs

EU legislation to protect victims of human trafficking is not being properly enforced, the European Parliament (EP) said Thursday.

In a resolution, approved by 391 votes to 43, with 53 abstentions, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) exhorted EU member states to do more to protect victims of human trafficking, especially women.

"Progress has been made in the fight against international trafficking gangs, but all too often victims are not being given the help they are entitled to under EU law," said rapporteur British Liberal MEP Catherine Bearder.

"EU-wide measures to tackle this vile trade must be fully implemented by national governments, including the proper collection of statistics and identification of victims to give us a clearer view of the real picture," she added.


  • According to Europol, about 10,000 unaccompanied children have disappeared since arriving in the EU in 2015. Children should be registered on their arrival and included in child protection systems, MEPs stated in the resolution.

  • They also called on EU states to ensure that police, judiciary, medical staff and social workers all receive adequate training, so that they can identify vulnerable victims early and offer them support. This includes accommodation, medical treatment, translation, legal counselling, including claiming compensation, and a recovery period of at least 30 days.

In order to ensure that support is provided, MEPs said member states should grant victims residence permits and access to the labor market in the member state to which they were trafficked.

Bearder pointed out that victims are often required to give evidence in criminal cases against traffickers, and so need to be present in a member state, but this is not always possible under current rules, she stated.

To counter the demand driving trafficking for sexual exploitation, MEPs stressed that the burden of proof in criminal cases should rest with those who purchase sexual services of trafficked persons, rather than with those who sell them.
 [Xinhua - globaltimes.cn]
13/5/16

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