Commission launches EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings

Date: 14th June 2013
Category: Right to life, survival and development, Access to appropriate information

Europe needs to work closer together to help the victims of today's slavery; a message delivered through the new EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings.

On 31st May 2013, over 100 European civil society organisations joined forces in the new EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings. The Europe-wide Platform, set up by the European Commission, serves as a forum for civil society organisations working at European, national and local levels, in the field of human rights, children's rights, women's rights and gender equality, migrants' rights and shelters.

Working towards the elimination of trafficking in human beings cannot be achieved without a strong cooperation across the EU and beyond.

At EU level, the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive focuses on preventing the crime, protecting the victims and prosecuting the traffickers. It covers actions in areas such as criminal law provisions, prosecution of offenders, victims' support, victims' rights in criminal proceedings, prevention and monitoring of the implementation and establishing partnerships in particular with civil society.

The EU Directive takes a human rights based approach that is gender-specific and centres on the victims and the best interests of the child. To date, only 9 countries have fully transposed the directive (Czech Republic, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Finland) and 4 countries have partially transposed (Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovenia and UK).

At a time when growing numbers of victims are being identified in the EU, the 2012 EU Strategy sets out 40 concrete initiatives, including strengthening the role of civil society. The establishment of an EU Platform of civil society organisations in Member States is one of these concrete actions.

In March 2013, the Commission invited organisations to apply for the participation in the Platform. The final selection addressed the need to ensure geographical balance and the diversity of areas of expertise, and current involvement at EU level.

Additionally, the Commission will continue to work on carrying out the anti-trafficking strategy, with the help of Member States, NGOs, and other stakeholders.