European Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings

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Awareness-Raising of Judicial Authorities Concerning Trafficking in Human Beings. European Legal Framework

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Awareness-Raising of Judicial Authorities Concerning Trafficking in Human Beings. European Legal Framework
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
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Document type(s)
Training Material/Resources,
Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands and Poland, Reflection period, Residency permit, Identification, Social assistance, Victim protection, Shelter, Repatriation, Empowerment, Redress, Advocacy, Civil society, NGO, Human Rights approach, Identification (of Victims) Protection, Victims of trafficking, Trafficked persons, Integration, Social Inclusion,
This report aims to give an overview of the current instruments and developments in the fight against trafficking in human beings (THB) within Europe. Recently, some new challenges have come to light regarding the fight against trafficking. The first challenge can be found in the enlargement of the European Union with ten central and eastern European countries. THB has a serious impact in these countries, since it concerns countries of destination, transit and origin. Furthermore the new Constitutional Treaty for the EU constitutes another development which might enhance criminal co-operation within the EU and consequently tackles THB. Finally one can notice the increase of attention for victims which is reflected in the human rights approach of some of the (proposed) instruments. This approach puts its main focus on the human rights of trafficked persons, in addition to border measures and the focus on the prosecution of those suspected of THB, which were so far the main concerns of the countries involved. This report takes the view that a breach of human rights is inherent to the crime of THB. On the basis of several international provisions (for instance Article 6 CEDAW, Article 8 ICCPR, Article 4 ECHR) states are obliged to undertake appropriate measures in order to provide the protection foreseen in these provisions. This report is divided in two main parts. The first part (sections 2, 3, and 4) concern the (legal) provisions on fighting THB of three important organisations in Europe namely the European Union (EU), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). In the second part (sections 5,6, and 7) the provisions on criminal co-operation relevant for fighting THB adopted within the EU and the CoE are discussed and evaluated. Aware of the fact that a vast number of non-binding instruments on THB has been adopted within the EU, the CoE, and the OSCE this report will mainly deal with the legally inding instruments.1 However, some attention will be paid to the Report of the Experts Group on Trafficking in Human Beings, since the European Commission will issue a Communication regarding trafficking in human beings in the first half of 2005 based on this report. Section 7 of this report analyses the problems in the field of criminal co-operation that may be an obstacle to an efficient prosecution of those suspected of trafficking in human beings within the EU. Consequently it addresses THB from a criminal law perspective and covers THB with a transnational character (which is the majority of the trafficking cases). After the identification of the problems, the establishment of a Joint Investigation Team as a possible instrument to deal with these problems is discussed on the basis of an initiative to set up such a team to fight THB from and through Bulgaria, before the final conclusion will be made.
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