EU Agencies Against Trafficking in Human Beings
20 October 2018
Riehle_Cornelia_Neu_SW.jpg Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

On 13 June 2018, ten EU Agencies signed a Joint Statement committing themselves to working together against trafficking in human beings (THB). The 10 signing agencies are:

  • The European Asylum Support Office (EASO);
  • The European Police Office (Europol);
  • The European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA);
  • The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA);
  • The EU Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust);
  • The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE);
  • The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX);
  • The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA);
  • The EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL);
  • The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound).

According to the statement, the agencies have committed to the following:

  • Countering the culture of impunity for perpetrators, abusers, and exploiters;
  • Enhancing their focus on prevention, taking into account the entire trafficking chain inside and outside the EU;
  • Ensuring a gender-specific and child-sensitive approach when addressing THB;
  • Assisting Member States in improving the early identification of victims and ensuring access to and realisation of their rights;
  • Addressing the vulnerabilities of victims and ensuring accountability towards them, including in border management;
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions, e.g., by setting up Joint Investigation Teams;
  • Promoting cross-border and internal law enforcement and judicial cooperation;
  • Strengthening training activities, sharing good practices, and capacity building within an appropriate policy context;
  • Building on synergies foreseen in relevant EU instruments in specific areas, including with respect to the EU action on drugs;
  • Improving information sharing, also via the use of technology, within the limits of data protection rules, proactive financial and intelligence-led investigations, asset recovery, and the freezing and confiscation of profits;
  • Implementing and developing large-scale IT systems and leveraging systems interoperability;
  • Supporting coherent and effective joint activities with all relevant stakeholders, including labour market intermediaries and recruitment agencies;
  • Increasing regional and cross-border cooperation among public authorities and social partners in order to strengthen their commitment to a coordinated, coherent, and comprehensive response to THB.

Furthermore, each agency will appoint a contact point who will participate in meetings organised by the Office of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. This will ensure an overview of each agency’s action in this field and its representation in the relevant fora.

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Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section