Subject: News/EU: EP COMMITTEE DEBATES FIGHT AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN.
From: Melanie Orhant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 10:40:20 EDT
Comment from Melanie: Having interviewed numerous men who have been
trafficked for forced labor, I'm disappointed, again, that the EU and
other international organizations still aren't addressing the issue
of men being trafficked.
20Apr00 EU: EP COMMITTEE DEBATES FIGHT AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT NEWS REPORT
DOCUMENT DATE: APRIL 19, 2000
EU takes lead in fight against trafficking in women
The Women's Rights Committee, chaired by Maj Britt THEORIN (PES, S),
yesterday unanimously adopted a report by Patsy SVRENSEN (Greens/EFA, B) on
the Commission communication on further actions in the fight against
trafficking in women. This is a burning issue at present, and one which
affects not only women but also children, who are highly vulnerable to this
modern form of slavery, which is a growing problem in Europe. The Tampere
summit recently instructed the EU to crack down on illegal immigration,
partly by focusing on those who profit from trafficking in human beings.
The Svrensen report (which will be debated by Parliament at its May II
part-session in Strasbourg) goes further and calls for top priority to be
given to the fight against such activities. Stressing the links between
trafficking in human beings on the one hand and immigration and asylum
policies on the other, the committee first of all calls on the IGC to bring
EU policy in this area of criminal justice entirely within the Community
pillar. It then calls for the Union to draw up a clear, harmonised
definition of "trafficking" (to cover, for example, all practices akin to
slavery, forced prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labour and forced
marriages). To this end a legal framework must be laid down at EU level and
effective measures taken in the areas of prevention, protection and aid to
victims. In addition, Member States and EU applicant countries must deploy
their legislative, administrative and police resources to combat
trafficking. They must also, says the committee, develop international
cooperation, in particular with Europol and Interpol, to defeat the
criminal networks which are in large measure responsible for the problem.
The committee adopted various amendments on the following points: Community
harmonisation of national methods for detecting traffickers and bringing
them to justice (such as guarantees of protection for women who agree to
give evidence and a reversal of the burden of proof so that it is placed
upon the alleged trafficker); raising awareness of the risks facing women
in conflict-torn regions; granting refugee status or residence permits at
national level to victims of trafficking; extending the duration of the
STOP programme and applying it to the applicant countries as well; and
conducting information campaigns in victims' countries of origin. Other
proposed changes seek to encourage Member States to prevent abuses of new
technologies, in particular the internet, which boosts the market for
traffickers (e.g. by offering women for sale) and raise public awareness of
the results of trafficking in women (mainly by targeting the male
population). Lastly, the committee calls on the media to observe their
professional ethical codes and to limit or even refuse advertising for the
sex trade so as not to play into the hands of the traffickers.
Press enquiries: Piero Soave tel. +32.2.284 4270 e-mail:
END OF DOCUMENT.
EUROPEAN UNION PRESS RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE - EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT 20/04/2000
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