The 8th annual EU anti-trafficking was on 18 October. To mark this occasion, the European Police College (CEPOL), Europol, Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) have issued a report on their joint actions in the field of THB. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has also contributed to a number of the activities listed in the report.
THB is a severe violation of human rights, explicitly prohibited by the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It is a phenomenon that knows no borders and that one Member State, EU institution or EU agency alone cannot address effectively. Working together in a coordinated and coherent way is therefore essential to eradicate trafficking. The report highlights the successful results that multilateral cooperation among EU agencies has achieved, in coordination with the European Commission and the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator.
The report covers the period from October 2012 through October 2014, and has been coordinated by EASO as 2014 Chair of the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Agencies network.
The report focuses on areas in which the agencies have joined forces to support the implementation of the EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings 2012-2016 in line with its five priorities: identifying, protecting and assisting victims of trafficking; stepping up the prevention of human trafficking; increased prosecution of traffickers; enhanced coordination and cooperation among key actors and policy coherence; and increased knowledge of and effective response to emerging concerns related to all forms of human trafficking.
Successes and activities
The report highlights the successful operational results achieved in the area of THB via multilateral cooperation among JHA agencies, including implementation of the EMPACT THB project1.
The report highlights several strategic activities, including, among many others:
(a) coordination meetings chaired by the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator’s Office in Brussels;
(b) thematic expert meetings organised by EASO and by Europol with the participation of other agencies;
(c) Eurojust’s Strategic Project on THB, which analysed the difficulties encountered in the identification of THB victims and the actions of the Member States in ensuring the assistance and protection of victims;
(d) CEPOL has been working on the update of its common curriculum on THB in cooperation with the other agencies on THB and has developed an online learning module on the topic, in cooperation with the other agencies;
(e) FRA, with the support of Frontex, carried out research on fundamental rights at large airports in the European Union, including whether and how border guards are equipped to identify and refer potential THB victims to the national protection systems; and
(f) Frontex has developed a Handbook on Risk Profiles on THB.
The report is annexed to the European Commission’s Midterm report on the Implementation of the EU Strategy towards the eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016. Together with the report on joint activities, the agencies will soon release an additional document listing the key actions undertaken by each agency individually to address human trafficking from October 2012 through October 2014.
1) The EMPACT THB project is the multilateral cooperation platform to address THB on EU level. It is part of the intelligence-led policing approach to tackle organised crime, identify priorities and establish an international teamwork approach to bring down criminal groups that threaten the security of the European Union.