18 October is EU Anti-Trafficking Day
2015-10-15 16:52:10 -
Human Rights

The member states of the European Union will mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October.


Established by the European Commission in 2007, the day aims to “raise awareness on trafficking in human beings and increase the exchange of information, knowledge and best practices amongst the different actors working in this field,” according to the EU.


Every year, the respective EU presidencies, in collaboration with the European Commission and member states, organise initiatives to mark this day and raise awareness both at Europe-wide and national level.


The results of some of these initiatives, according to the EU Anti-Trafficking unit, include recommendations on the identification and referral to services of victims of trafficking in human beings (2007); input to the ‘action oriented paper’ on strengthening of the external dimension on actions against trafficking in human beings (2009); and the Joint Statement of the Heads of EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies (2011).


On the occasion of 2012’s EU Anti-Trafficking Day, the Cyprus presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission jointly organised a special conference in Brussels. Working together towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings, the conference, titled ‘The Way Forward’, looked at the adopted EU Strategy towards the eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings.


According to the EU, the conference “served as a forum for exchange of views among representatives from EU member states, academia and civil society on shaping future actions to strengthen cooperation, victim protection and assistance, prevention and prosecution in the field of trafficking in human beings.”


The EU Anti-Trafficking Strategy 2012-2016 highlights five priorities and a number of actions that the European Commission planned to implement during the period in collaboration with other groups. These include identifying, protecting and assisting victims of trafficking; stepping up the prevention of trafficking in human beings; and increased prosecution of traffickers.


Others include enhanced co-ordination and co-operation among key actors and policy coherence, and increased knowledge of and effective response to emerging concerns related to all forms of trafficking in human beings.


The EU has an anti-trafficking co-ordinator, Dr Myria Vassiliadou, who is in charge of monitoring the implementation of the EU anti-trafficking strategy as well as providing overall strategic policy orientation for the EU’s external policy in this field.


Dr Vassiliadou is also responsible for improving co-ordination and coherence among EU institutions, agencies, member states and international actors and developing existing and new EU policies to address trafficking in human beings.

TAGS : Anti-Trafficking Day Trafficking European Commission Dr Myria Vassiliadou EU
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