The 30th of July marks the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This year, the UN puts survivors of human trafficking centre stage and stresses the importance to listen and learn from their experiences to improve prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of victims.
The UNDOC’s latest report on Trafficking in Human Beings, analysed amongst others data from around 14,000 victims in Europe in 2018. As a result, the data showed that more than half of the victims (60%) detected in CEE/SEE are coming from the region and 17% of victims detected in Southern or West Europe are from CEE/SEE.
Tackling trafficking in human beings in times of COVID
With the COVID pandemic putting more people in precarious situations, the risk of becoming a victim of trafficking in persons increases even more. Hence, raising awareness of the issue and work on effective measures to tackle the issue are of utmost importance.
In the European Commission’s communication on the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings 2021-2025 (published in April 2021), the European Commission highlights the need for a comprehensive response to combat human trafficking. In doing so, the fight against trafficking in persons need to reach from prevention to protection of victims as well as prosecution and conviction of traffickers.
Aiming for better coordination in the Danube Region
The EU Danube Strategy is acknowledging the need for better cooperation in this area in its Action Plan. Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation” and Priority Area 11 “Security” addressing trafficking in human beings through better police cooperation and better cooperation of (local) public authorities and victim protection organisations. In a joint effort, both Priority Areas aim at working together through establishing a platform for fighting trafficking in human beings. The platform should strengthen coordination and mutual understanding between law enforcement, public administrations and victim protection organisations. Furthermore, the platform is supposed to enhance cooperation across borders in the Danube Region in order to improve prosecution, repatriation and rehabilitation as well as preventive measures.
In addition, the Danube Office Ulm organises in cooperation with partners from public administration, law enforcement and civil society a conference on fighting trafficking in human beings in October 2021. Thereby, the organisers seek to contribute to better cooperation in the Danube Region regarding trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation. The conference is supported by Priority Area 10 and Priority Area 11 of the EU Danube Strategy. Further information on the conference will be published in due time.