Implementation of Anti-Trafficking Directive assessed


European Parliament released the results of the Directive 2011/36/EU (Anti-Trafficking Directive) implementation assessment.

Directive 2011/36/EU is the benchmark legislation on the fight against human trafficking at European level. By ratifying the Directive 2011/36/EU Lithuania has taken a responsibility to protect victims of human trafficking and put all kind of efforts on prevention of this crime.

This research paper assessed the improvements and the remaining challenges in the implementation of the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive with a dual-focus on migration and gender in 27 EU Member States. Contribution to the study was also provided by the Diversity Development Group research team.

The implementation assessment reveals:

a) The lack of consistent and detailed data continues to hamper the adequate assessment of trends in the number of victims. Some of the major Member States continue to lack regular and detailed data on victims of trafficking whilst other Member States publish such data with delays.

b) The main forms of exploitation remain unchanged with the majority of victims being subject to sexual exploitation (56 %), however, in at least seven Member States (BE, IE, HR, FI, PT, PL), the majority of the victims were victims of labor exploitation.

c) Member States have been making efforts to comply with the prevention related clauses of Directive with varying levels of success, however, data is not always available to certify what progress has been made, including in relation to gender and migration.

d) Member States challenges on identifying victims in international protection procedures and monitoring identified THB victims among asylum seekers, as well as providing needed protection. Asylum seekers’ fear to report exploitation remains because of fear of insecurity of residence and penalization by the state.

e) The needs of victims are not sufficiently addressed yet, in particular the needs of migrants with an irregular status and children. THB victims – including children, often in the context of migration – are still prosecuted and punished by Member States for offences which they were forced to commit. With low rates of prosecution and conviction among THB offenders, a strong sense of injustice can be created, leading also to secondary victimization.

f) Effective cooperation between the Member States has been progressively increasing over the years. Further enhancement of the cooperation would benefit, amongst others, from harmonization of legal and law enforcement frameworks across the Member States, from establishing and maintaining contacts amongst the stakeholders, and from a standardization of the cooperation models, such as the transnational referral mechanisms.

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