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The EU strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings 2012-2016

Opinion Number: CDR 1564/2012
Rapporteur: DRENJANIN Jelena
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 31/01/2013
Demonstrate that LRA are affected by trafficking;
Illustrate the gender-specific dimension of measures to combat trafficking and the need to protect minors;
Reaffirm that LRA have an obligation to prevent trafficking and to protect victims;
Illustrate that LRA possess or can develop adequate instruments to deal with this issue;
Illustrate the overall responsibility of local communities vis-a-vis trafficking (bystander perspective).
On 29 May 2013, at the EP LIBE committee meeting, the Anti-trafficking Coordinator, Ms Myria Vassiliadou, presented the update of her activities and the Eurostat report on trafficking in human beings. She expressly thanked the CoR for its support on this field.
Thanks to the CoR involvement, it was invited to participate in the EU civil society Platform on the trafficking of human beings and in the inaugural meeting of 31 May 2013.
The opinion has been the trigger for the CoR's participation in the Informal Working Group on the Administrative Approach against Organised Crime.

From the European Commission's impact report:
the comments expressed in the opinion will be taken into account when implementing the specific actions in the EU Strategy
European Commission shares the view that in particular in the area of identification and referral of victims of trafficking in human beings, local and regional authorities should be included in the consultations and involved in the different mechanisms
European Commission shares the view of the Committee that communication of all the work done on trafficking in human beings and the dissemination of brochures and guidelines to actors working at the local and regional level is fundamental
European Commission shares the view that local and regional authorities should be included in the work of national multi-disciplinary law enforcement units.

- agrees that the implementation of the strategy will require a coherent and multidisciplinary approach with the involvement of a very diverse group of actors, including authorities at different levels, law enforcement, public service workers, civil society and volunteer groups. The proximity of certain cities and regions to the points of entry of trafficked individuals and/or to the places where exploitation takes place gives a greater opportunity to identify and support victims of trafficking, and also to engage in awareness-raising initiatives in close collaboration with civil society and for the direct benefit of trafficked persons and citizens in general;

- points out that the Commission should in future more clearly prioritise and extend the various measures that exist to counter demand and urges the Commission to make a clearer distinction between demand relating to 1) labour exploitation, 2) sexual services and 3) the sexual exploitation of children;

- is convinced that local and regional authorities are in a better position than central/national ones to recognise the signs that someone is a victim of human trafficking. The Committee of the Regions could therefore usefully contribute to efforts to develop guidelines on victim identification and on child protection systems;

- underlines that the effectiveness of the multi disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach that the European Commission envisages for the implementation of its strategy is to a large extent dependant on the active engagement of actors at the local and regional level;

- would like to participate, as the representative of local and regional authorities, in the civil society platform and private sector and employers' platform;

- welcomes the proposal to develop knowledge relating to the gender dimension of trafficking and vulnerable groups, but at the same time urges the Commission not to focus on the gender dimension only in terms of victims but also to bear in mind that there are clear differences between the sexes in terms of demand.
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