[Stop-traffic] News/EU: COMMISSION PROPOSES ACTION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS.

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/EU: COMMISSION PROPOSES ACTION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Nov 11 2001 - 10:20:02 EST


22/Dec/00 EU: COMMISSION PROPOSES ACTION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN
BEINGS.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION NEWS RELEASE: IP/00/1530
DOCUMENT DATE: DEC 21, 2000
*
Commission proposes action to combat trafficking in human beings and sexual
exploitation of children
*
The Commission today proposed a package of measures to combat trafficking
in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children, as requested by
European leaders at the Tampere summit. Today's Communication (an
initiative of Antonio Vitorino in association with Anna Diamantopoulou),
sets out elements for a comprehensive strategy to tackle these appalling
and growing menaces. Alongside the Communication, the Commission presents
two proposals for framework decisions on approximation of national criminal
law and addressing criminal procedures. These framework decisions will
provide emphatic legal protection for children as well as persons being
trafficked into and within the European Union for exploitative purposes.
Announcing today's proposals, Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Antonio
Vitorino said: 'The decisions we propose today will be an important step
towards eradicating from Europe the unscrupulous practices of trafficking
in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children. It is appalling
that in the Europe of the 21st century such barbaric practices are still
widespread - even increasing. Because of their very nature these problems
recognise no national boundaries. They infect the whole of Europe, and only
a European solution can effectively combat them. I now call upon the
Council to demonstrate its commitment to step up the fight against these
violations of human rights and human dignity by swiftly approving the
measures we have proposed.'
Anna Diamantopoulou said: 'The EU is seeking to bring greater visibility to
these modern forms of slavery and to provide a legal framework. It is
estimated that between 700.000 to 2 million women and girls each year are
subjected to trafficking worldwide. In the EU alone, this figure is
estimated at 500.000. But we must also tackle the root causes of
trafficking: poverty, unemployment and gender discrimination'.
Today's proposals are set out in a Commission Communication and two
associated draft framework decisions: one on combating trafficking in human
beings and one on combating sexual exploitation of children and child
pornography. Both decisions aim to develop effective co-operation across
the European Union in judicial procedures and law enforcement. The
Commission believes that common definitions and sanctions will make an
important contribution to achieving this objective. They would provide a
common approach on criminal law and a further improvements to law
enforcement and judicial co-operation between Member States.
The proposed measures to tackle trafficking in human beings include common
definitions of two criminal offences: trafficking in human beings for the
purpose of labour exploitation; and trafficking in human beings for the
purpose of sexual exploitation. The definitions of both offences reflect
the United Nations protocol 'To Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, Especially Women and Children', recently signed by the Commission
at the Palermo High-level Conference for the UN Convention against
Transnational Organised crime..
The Proposals to fight the sexual exploitation of children and child
pornography include:
Common definitions of three criminal offences: child prostitution, sexual
exploitation of children and child pornography (including child pornography
on the Internet).
Both proposals provide common sanctions which are effective, proportionate
and dissuasive, including by terms of imprisonment.:
In addition to common definitions and sanctions, both proposals address the
liability of legal persons, including sanctions, jurisdiction and
prosecution. They also provide for the protection of victims in judicial
procedures and an enhanced co-operation between Member States.
Due to the international nature of the offences addressed by these
proposals, it is particularly important that Member States establish
jurisdiction and ensure prosecution when a person is suspected of having
committed an offence in a country other than his own. This is particularly
vital in order to effectively combat child sex tourism.
Finally, the Commission has agreed that the interests of victims should be
safeguarded during legal proceedings. The Commission will therefore put
forward proposals next year for temporary permits of stay for victims of
trafficking who are prepared to help the judicial authorities.
END OF DOCUMENT.
EUROPEAN UNION PRESS RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE - EUROPEAN COMMISSION 22/12/2000
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