Criminal Law Last update : 15.06.2012
Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA
This Directive establishes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the area of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, child pornography and solicitation of children for sexual purposes. It also introduces provisions to strengthen the prevention of those crimes and the protection of the victims thereof.
Directive 2011/36/EU applied to United Kingdom
The European Commission has adopted the decision to apply to United Kingdom the Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.
The Directive 2011/36/EU shall come into force for the United Kingdom from the date of notification of this Decision.
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime
The Directive gives a definition of “victims” as “natural persons who have suffered harm […] caused by a criminal offence” and “family members of a person whose death has been caused by a criminal offence”. These victims are granted several quite specific rights.
The first set of rights (Art. 3 – 7) deal with the provision of information and support to victims.
The second set of rights (Art. 8 – 16) deal with the rights of victims to participate and when participating in a criminal procedure.
The third set of rights (Art. 17 – 23) deal with protection of victims against “retaliation, intimidation, repeat or further victimisation.”
This Directive addresses the specific needs of particularly vulnerable victims in a more targeted manner. In particular, adult victims of trafficking in human beings, child victims of trafficking in human beings, child victims of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child pornography shall benefit from the measures established in Council Directive 2011/36/EU.
Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA
The European Commission welcomes the publication on 5 April 2011 of the new EU directive 2011/36/EU on prevention and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L 101, 1 15.4.2011). The adoption follows a Commission Directive proposal last spring, with binding legislation to prevent trafficking, to effectively prosecute criminals, and to better protect the victims, in line with the highest European standards.
"This is a very important step towards a comprehensive and more effective European anti-trafficking policy. I would like to thank the Council and the European parliament for the swift adoption of this directive. The new ambitious rules adopted today will keep the EU at the forefront of the international fight against human trafficking by protecting the victims and punishing the criminals behind this modern slavery", said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.
The Directive takes a victim centred approach, including a gender perspective, to cover actions in different areas such as criminal law provisions, prosecution of offenders, victims' support and victims' rights in criminal proceedings, prevention and monitoring of the implementation.
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, and protecting victims, repealing Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA, 24 pages
The Commission proposal for a Directive on preventing and combating human trafficking and protecting victims, adopted on 29 March 2010, will replace the 2002 EU framework decision on combating trafficking in human beings. The proposal for a Directive further reconciles discrepancies between the laws of the Member States on prevention, victim protection and prosecution of traffickers. The new Directive brings robust provisions on victim's protection, including national mechanisms for early identification and assistance, and supports the principle of non-punishment for petty crimes and unconditional assistance. It also obliges MS to set up National Rapporteurs or equivalent mechanisms to be responsible for monitoring implementation of anti-trafficking policy at the national level.*
* This Directive follows up on the Commission's proposal for a Framework Decision on the same subject from March 2009. That proposal was negotiated in Council during 2009, and political agreement was reached on a text in the JHA Council of the 30 November 2009. The next day, the proposal for a Framework Decision lapsed due to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.
Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings repealing Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA, 19 pages
The March 2009 Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, which would replace the Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA, aimed at further reconciling discrepancies between laws of the EU Member States on prevention, victim protection and prosecution of traffickers.
The March 2009 Proposal was further developed in the Proposal for a Directive of the European parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, and protecting victims (COM/2010/95 final) adopted on 29 March 2010.
Council Framework of 24 October 2008 on the fight against organised crime
The objective of the 24 October 2008 Council Framework Decision is to include closer cooperation between the EU Member States in order to counter the dangers and proliferation of criminal organiSations. By doing this, the Framework Decision aims at responding effectively to requirements from the Member States' and to citizens' expectations.
Report from the Commission based on Article 12 of Council Framework Decision of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, 9 pages
This report concludes that most Member States have adopted the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of the Framework Decision on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. The Commission notes the need to revise the Framework Decision, in particular to deal with offences related to developments in electronic communications technologies.
Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament based on Article 10 of the Council Framework Decision of 19 July 2002 on combating trafficking in human beings, 9 pages
In this report the European Commission elaborates on to what extent the requirements set out in the Council Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings have been met by the Member States. On the basis of the information provided, the requirements set out in the Council Framework Decision appear to have been largely met by Member States – either as a result of pre-existing domestic laws, or through the implementation of new and specific legislation. Nonetheless, the report finds that the levels of penalties in the Member States are significant. As regards to vulnerable victims, the Commission received limited information, and thus cannot provide an exhaustive evaluation in this respect.
The annex to the report specifies to what extent the requirements have been met by the Member States with regards to the Council Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings.
Council Directive of 29 April 2004 relating to compensation to crime victims
This Council Directive of 29 April 2004 ensures that all EU Member States have a national scheme in place which guarantees appropriate compensation to victims of crime, including victims of human trafficking. The Directive also ensures that compensation is easily accessible. Accordingly, Member States should create national systems for cooperation between relevant national authorities.