22 Ιουνίου 2024

Diane Schmitt

EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator (EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator (europa.eu)

Gminder Beate

Deputy Director-General and Head of the Task Force Migration Management in Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME)

Together against trafficking in human beings
(Joint Statement)

Trafficking in human beings destroys individuals’ lives by depriving people of their dignity, freedom and fundamental rights. It is a crime that brings high profits to criminals; a crime that has no place in our society.

More than half of the victims within the EU are EU citizens, and a significant number of them are trafficked within their own country. However, non-EU victims have increased in recent years. Women and children represent three quarters of all registered victims and the vast majority is trafficked for sexual exploitation. Children are particular at risk.

At EU level, in line with the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings, we address the crime with a comprehensive response: from prevention through protection of victims to prosecution and conviction of traffickers. We take into account that trafficking is not only a national, but also a transnational crime and a global phenomenon, which requires collective action both within the EU as well as with our non-EU partners.

The specificity of this complex crime requires strong cooperation among all key actors at national and European level, including EU agencies, between law enforcement and judicial authorities, across all relevant policy areas, with civil society organisations, in both national and transnational context.

This approach includes strategic and operational cooperation to reduce demand that fosters trafficking, break the criminal model off-line and on-line, halt victims’ exploitation, by protecting, supporting and empowering the victims, especially women and children.

The Medusa exercise contributes to this joint effort against trafficking in human beings, by bringing together a wide range of stakeholders, in order to further strengthen cooperation, raise awareness, train front-line professionals, law enforcements, authorities and other vital partners to ensure early identification of victims,  assist and support the victims and bring perpetrators to justice.