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  • 6th EU Anti-Trafficking Day against trafficking in human beings: the Way Forward

    To mark the 6th EU Anti-Trafficking Day, the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission organised a high level conference in Brussels on 18 October 2012.

    The conference 'Working together towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings: The Way Forward' focused on the recently adopted EU Strategy on Trafficking in Human Beings. It 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.

    Minister of Interior of Cyprus, Ms Eleni Mavrou, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ms Cecilia Malmström, the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator opened the event.

    Minister of Interior Ms Eleni Mavrou stated that “the EU has recognised the need for a more coordinated reaction to the trafficking of human beings so as to further strengthen cooperation, protection of victims, prevention and effectively proceed with the prosecution of traffickers. These needs have been expressed through the Stockholm Programme, the adoption of the anti-trafficking Directive, the appointment of the Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Ms Myria Vassiliadou and more recently through the Council Conclusions on the strategy.” Cyprus’ Interior Minster further added that “we firmly believe that we now have in our hands the legislative and practical tools to effectively tackle this crime. What is now necessary is to remain alert and implement without excuses these tools in our day to day work”.

    In her speech, Commissioner Malmström noted that the consensus and political will is there to work together for addressing trafficking in human beings. She noted that "at EU level, we have two strong tools to guide us: the EU Directive on human trafficking about to enter into force in all Member States, and there is the recently adopted EU Strategy against human trafficking". Commissioner Malmström  further noted that the deadline for implementing new, stronger EU legislation is fast approaching: "The deadline is less than six months away, 6 April 2013. Today I therefore call on all EU Member States to transpose the Directive, on time, and making sure that all elements, including mechanisms for early identification and protection of victims, are in place."

    The morning session of the conference focused on the identification of future actions needed to eradicate this human rights violation and how to best deal with the growing challenges posed by trafficking in human beings. The results from the first year of the Joint Statement signed by the Heads of the EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies at last year’s 5th EU Anti-Trafficking Day were also presented.

    The afternoon session was dedicated to the discussion of specific topics in working groups selected on the basis of the EU strategy priorities on Prevention: Reduction of Demand, Protection and assistance: EU Transnational Referral Mechanism, and Prosecution: Financial Investigations.

    A side event was organised with NGOs to reflect on the forthcoming establishment in 2013 of an EU platform for civil society organisations and service providers working with victim protection and assistance in Member States and selected third countries, as set forth in the EU Strategy.





    Academia, Prevention, Cyprus, Commission, Council, Strategy, NGO and Civil Society, Victims