Calls for better protection for victims of trafficking

A joint report published yesterday Europol-INTERPOL Report on Migrant Smuggling Networks revealed that the agencies estimated the annual turnover of migrant smuggling to be  worth $5 -$6 billion in 2015, representing one of the main profit-generating activities for organised criminals in Europe.

It also found, among other things that, “travel by 90% of the migrants to the European Union (EU) is predominantly facilitated by members of a criminal network.”

Meanwhile, Members of the European Parliament called on member states to do more to support and protect victims of human trafficking during last week’s plenary session in Strasbourg.

The resolution voted on in the European Parliament raised concerns that specific European Union legislation intended to protect victims of trafficking has not been adequately enforced by national governments and that the European Commission has failed to meet reporting deadlines.

The report for which I was the shadow member, revealed details and raised concerns regarding the European Commission. It also found the European Commission failed to keep to the timetable of reporting on the issue of human trafficking as is clearly required by them to do and is clearly stipulated in the Directive.

However, it has been noted that progress has been made in tackling trafficking gangs. But concern about the level of support victims receive remains. National governments must fully implement measures which are designed to help victims including collecting proper statistics which help governments and the European Union gain better insight into the problem.

Statistics, collected by Europol, estimate that 10,000 unaccompanied children have disappeared since arriving in the EU in 2015. As we have argued before EU member states must ensure that agencies involved in helping victims must receive adequate training. This includes a range of sectors from the Police, medical staff, the judiciary and charities so that they are able to identify the needs of the victims early on and help them work through their trauma.

There are also practical areas where help and support should be offered including helping victims to source safe accommodation, medical treatment and legal counselling.

The report also calls for member states to grant victims residence permits and access to the labour market in the member state to which they were trafficked.

Members of the European Parliament called on member states to do more to support and protect victims of human trafficking during last week’s plenary session in Strasbourg.

The resolution voted on in the European Parliament yesterday raised concerns that specific European Union legislation intended to protect victims of trafficking has not been adequately enforced by national governments and that the European Commission has failed to meet reporting deadlines.

The report, for which I was the shadow member, revealed details and raised concerns regarding the European Commission. The report found it failed to keep to the timetable of reporting on the issue of human trafficking as is clearly required by them to do and is clearly stipulated in the Directive.

However, it has been noted that progress has been made in tackling trafficking gangs. But concern about the level of support victims receive remains. National governments must fully implement measures which are designed to help victims including collecting proper statistics which help governments and the European Union gain better insight into the problem.

Statistics, collected by Europol, estimate that 10,000 unaccompanied children have disappeared since arriving in the EU in 2015. As we have argued before EU member states must ensure that agencies involved in helping victims must receive adequate training. This includes a range of sectors from the Police, medical staff, the judiciary and charities so that they are able to identify the needs of the victims early on and help them work through their trauma.

There are also practical areas where help and support should be offered including helping victims to source safe accommodation, medical treatment and legal counselling.

The report also calls for member states to grant victims residence permits and access to the labour market in the member state to which they were trafficked.

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