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EU Policy

The EU policy section provides an overview of EU policy to address trafficking in human beings. It contains information from the European Commission, the European Parliament and other EU institutions and agencies.

The European Union's policy for addressing trafficking in human beings is comprehensive focusing on prevention, protection of victims, prosecution of criminals, and the developing partnerships with the various actors involved. This approach is human rights based, victims centred, gender specific and child sensitive.

This approach is reflected in the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims of 5 of April 2011 (which replaces the 2002 framework decision).This Directive brings robust provisions on victim's protection, including national mechanisms for early identification and assistance of victims and supports the principle of non-punishment and unconditional assistance. It also obliges Member States to appoint National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms.

An important policy instrument that follows from the Directive on trafficking is the EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings 2012-2016. The Strategy expands on issues identified in the Directive and is consistent with its comprehensive approach. It focuses, therefore, on prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships and also on ways to increase knowledge on emerging concerns related to trafficking in human beings.