Six UN Agencies Advocate for Change on Anti-Trafficking policies in the European Union
On the eve of a major conference relevant in the formulation of a European Union (EU) strategy against trafficking, six UN agencies have shared their views and suggestions to ensure that the rights of victims of trafficking are effectively addressed.
The six agencies (UNODC, OHCHR, UNHCR, UNICEF, ILO, UNIFEM/UN Women) in a public letter have drawn the attention of EU members States and institutions to the importance of providing free and quality legal assistance to victims, of not pursuing prosecution of victims and respect for the principle of non-refoulement, and the right not to be forcibly returned to their countries of origin. The joint submission also calls for an approach to trafficking that is gender-sensitive, has a broad definition of particularly vulnerable persons and focuses on child victims of trafficking.
On 18 and 19 October the Belgian Presidency of the European Union is holding a conference in Brussels entitled, Towards a multidisciplinary approach in prevention of trafficking in human beings, prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims.
Jan Jařab, the OHCHR Regional Representative for Europe says the conference is “an important step towards the formulation of the future EU strategy against trafficking in persons and a new opportunity to discuss the provisions of the proposal for an EU Directive on trafficking, in particular those relating to the protection of the rights of victims”.
19 October 2010