EU Strategy to Eradicate Trafficking in Human Beings – IOM today welcomed the launch of the European Commission’s 2012-2016 EU Strategy to Eradicate Trafficking in Human Beings.
“IOM fully backs the five key priority areas identified in the EU strategy and will actively cooperate with the EU Institutions and Member States in working to implement the measures defined in the strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
The EU strategy, which covers the period 2012-2016, prioritises identifying and assisting victims of trafficking, increasing the prosecution of traffickers, enhancing cooperation with key actors and organizations in the fight against trafficking, increasing the knowledge base on all aspects of the issue, and stepping up prevention measures.
“IOM especially welcomes the Commission’s continued dedication to a victim-centered and human rights based approach. In line with this, we will continue to engage our resources and expertise in service to the individual men, women and child victims or potential victims of trafficking, re-trafficking and exploitation,” said IOM Regional Director for Europe Bernd Hemingway.
IOM has been working globally since 1994 to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings. It has implemented more than 800 counter-trafficking projects in over 100 countries and in 2011 alone, had 241 active projects. Of a global total of 5,498 IOM counter trafficking interventions in 2011, 1,606 were in Europe.
It protects and assists vulnerable migrants (including children) who have been trafficked, re-trafficked, exploited or abused by providing direct assistance to victims.
It also addresses the demand for goods and services produced by victims of trafficking and works with the private sector to ensure that suppliers adhere to ethical standards and protect migrant workers from abuse and exploitation.
The EU Strategy makes specific reference to IOM’s “Buy Responsibly” information campaign, which urges consumers to play a greater role in ending human trafficking (www.buyresponsibly.org) Developed with Saatchia & Satchi Simko in Geneva, it aims to change consumer behavior and asks: “What Lies Behind the Things We Buy?’
The global scale of human trafficking is difficult to quantify, but organized criminal groups are known to be earning billions of dollars in profits from exploiting their victims.
In promoting evidence-based responses to the problem, IOM also conducts quantitative and qualitative research to combat trafficking in human beings, including research on human trafficking routes and trends, the causes and consequences of human trafficking both for the individual trafficked person and for society, as well as the structures, motivations and modus operandi of organized criminal groups.
While much of this work has been done at national level, IOM also collects and analyzes global data on human trafficking to better support cooperation between States to combat cross-border trade in human beings. This is stored in IOM’s Human Trafficking Database, which contains primary data on more than 25,000 trafficked persons assisted by the Organization since 1997.
For more information, please contact Linda Eriksson Baca at IOM Brussels. Email: [email protected]. Tel. +32 2 287 71 13.