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      Co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union


    Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a serious and dramatic phenomenon. Although a solid legal and policy framework* has been established, THB is assuming worrying dimensions to the point of being considered as the “slavery of our times”.

    Recent statistics by the International Labour Organization (2012) show that the global social problem of THB is rising in Western Europe. A significant proportion of trafficking is undertaken through travel and tourism businesses which, by their nature, facilitate the movement and accommodation of traffickers and their victims. There is also evidence that tourism businesses are used for sexual and labour exploitation of trafficking victims.

    What is COMBAT?

    COMBAT is a project funded by the EC Directorate of Home Affairs under the Internal Security Fund’s targeted call for Trafficking in Human Beings. COMBAT seeks, in full alignment with the legal and policy framework, to involve all the relevant hospitality and tourism stakeholders in the design of a preventive and remedial training toolkit. This will offer unique, practical, step-by-step guidance for tourism businesses to combat THB.

    It is co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union.


    29 April 2016

    Study - Trafficking in Human Beings from a Gender Perspective Directive 2011/36/EU: European Implementation Assessment - 29-04-2016

    A new study has been published by the European Commission:

    Trafficking in human beings (THB), in all its forms, is a serious crime affecting fundamental rights, health, social life, economy and justice. THB knows no boundaries and most reported victims are female EU nationals from Central and Eastern Europe. THB can be tackled effectively only through a coherent approach at the levels of legislation and executive powers and through strategic policy-making. Proper investigation and prosecution are important and enhance victim protection and assistance as well as prevention. However, taking into account the gender dimension of THB is essential to ensure adequate support for the victims as well as effective prevention. The 2011 EU Anti-Trafficking Directive represents a landmark piece of legislation in that respect. The Ex-Post Impact Assessment Unit of the European Parliament has asked several groups of experts to analyse the implementation and application of the Directive, from a gender perspective, in 12 Member States: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, the UK and Spain. The contributions received point to an uneven implementation of the Directive's requirements across the EU Member States. The findings emphasise the need to improve the identification of victims, which is key for granting them protection, to establish better training on the gender aspects of the different forms of human trafficking for front-line officers, to enhance cooperation between public administration and competent NGOs, and to expand prevention via public awareness campaigning. Source: © European Union, 2016 - EP

    read about the study »

    * International and European measures have been introduced to combat this crime. Within the European Union, Directive 2011/36/EU (and Decision 2011/692/EU which extends its application to the UK) represents the main piece of secondary legislation setting out provisions on preventing and combating THB and protecting its victims. The Commission has launched the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of THB 2012-2016 (COM 2012/286) laying down victim-centred anti-THB actions and measures.