Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings

EU Legislation

EU Legislation

The most fundamental EU legislation addressing trafficking in human beings is the EU anti-trafficking Directive:
Anti-trafficking 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 Directive provides binding legislation to prevent trafficking, to prosecute criminals effectively and better to protect the victims, in line with the highest European standards.
Other legislation relating to the trafficking of human beings:

Directive 2014/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the conditions of entry and stay of third-country nationals for the purpose of employment as seasonal workers 

The rules governing working conditions aim to prevent exploitation and to protect the health and safety of non-EU seasonal workers. 

Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA.

The purpose of this Directive is to ensure that victims of crime receive appropriate information, support and protection and are able to participate in criminal proceedings.

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.

Commission Decision of 14 October 2011 on the request by the United Kingdom to accept Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA  

The anti-trafficking Directive 2011/36/EU came into force for the United Kingdom from 14th October 2011. 

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of Directive 2004/81 on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperate with the competent authorities

The Commission report shows that in a majority of EU Member States, only a small number of residence permits are issued to victims of trafficking. The report indicates that the potential of the Directive in dismantling networks of traffickers while protecting the rights of victims is not being put to full use.

Directive 2009/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 providing for minimum standards on sanctions and measures against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals

This Directive establishes that cooperation among Member States should be strengthened to tackle illegal immigration. In particular measures against illegal employment should be intensified at Member State and EU level.

Council Framework Decision of 28 November 2002 on the strengthening of the penal framework to prevent the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence

This framework decision establishes a common action for European Union countries to prevent violations relating to the facilitation of illegal immigration, illegal employment, trafficking in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children.
The framework decision provides minimum rules for penalties, liability of legal persons and jurisdiction.

Council Directive 2002/90/EC of 28 November 2002 defining the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence

The Directive defines assisting irregular migration.  It requires that Member States apply appropriate penalties against those who attempt, instigate or commit the infringement of assisting irregular migration procedures.

It punishes assisting irregular migration for financial gain no matter whether a criminal organisation is involved or not.

Council Decision of 29 May 2000 to combat child pornography on the Internet 

With this Council Decision, the EU aims to prevent and combat the production, processing, distribution and possession of child pornography on the Internet.

The Directive defines the right of free movement for citizens of the European Economic Area which includes the EU and the three European Free Trade Association members (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). With this Directive, the right of residence becomes permanent after five years. This permanent residence permit can be seen as a way to a European Citizenship.

Council Directive 2004/80/EC of 29 April 2004 relating to compensation to crime victims

This Directive 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.

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 

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.

Council Framework Decision of 19 July 2002 on combating trafficking in human beings

The adoption on 19 July 2002 of the Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings defined human trafficking in terms of sexual exploitation and labour exploitation. The instrument introduced a framework of measures to be adopted at European level. These included aspects of the problem such as criminalisation, the severity and nature of punishments and prosecution as well as protection of and assistance to victims. This is no longer in force.  See the anti-trafficking Directive 2011/36/EU.

Council Framework Decision of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography 

The purpose of this Framework Decision was to approximate the laws and regulations in Member States in order to combat the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. The Framework Decision introduced a base of common provisions on criminalisation, sanctions, aggravating circumstances, jurisdiction and assistance to victims. This is no longer in force.  See the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children Directive 2011/92/EU.

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

In this report the European Commission looks at the extent to which the requirements set out in the Council Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings have been met by the Member States.