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  • Cecilia Malmström on addressing trafficking in human beings: Interview for Cyprus Broadcasting Cooperation

    Slavery was, in theory, abolished many years ago, but in the modern age, every year, hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked into the EU or within the EU.

    Vulnerable women and men, boys and girls are traded - mostly for sexual exploitation, but also for forced labour, the removal of organs, for domestic servitude, forced marriage, begging, stealing and illegal adoption.

    Embarrassingly, Cyprus, the current holder of the rotating EU Presidency, is one of the only European member states to still feature on the the US State Department's "Watch List", whose report for 2012 stated: "The Government of Cyprus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government failed to demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period; therefore, Cyprus is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year".

    The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, says co-ordinated initiatives are needed to efficiently address this appalling phenomenon. Following the appointment of the EU Anti-trafficking Coordinator and the entry into force of the new EU Directive on trafficking in human beings, the Commission has adopted the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016), a set of concrete and practical measures that must be implemented in all member states.

    The Commissioner spoke to Rosie Charalambous about the measures that she hopes will be incorporated across the European bloc to eradicate this shameful practice.