New EU civil body for eliminating human trafficking

MEP Lívia Járóka participated today at the launch of the EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings organised by the European Commission. In her speech she drew the attention to the enhanced vulnerability of Roma communities, the necessity of transposing the EU Directive against trafficking and the further challenges that Member States must face.

The EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings held its inaugural meeting today with the participation of approximately 100 civil organizations from the 27 EU Member States and Croatia. In her speech Lívia Járóka, Vice-Chairwoman of the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality reminded that trafficking emerged in close connection with marginalization and extreme poverty and therefore affected Roma women and children disproportionately. The EPP Group MEP welcomed the provisions of the related EU Directive that strengthen the identification, protection and assistance to victims as well as provide for the specific treatment of particularly vulnerable victims aimed at preventing secondary victimisation.

Járóka highlighted the 'impunity clause' of the Directive, according to which victims are not punishable for the illegal acts they committed while being in a trafficked situation. She pointed out that according to research data, this was the main reason why most of the victims avoid contacting the police. Járóka underlined that only six Member States have notified full transposition of the Directive – among them Hungary – and that further challenges remained in tackling the different aspects of trafficking in human beings. As an example she mentioned the necessity of specific gender-sensitive measures in the prevention of human trafficking, the need for raising awareness campaigns specially targeted at vulnerable communities suffering from multiple discrimination, monitoring any form of advertising that could be related to trafficking or exploitation, as well as providing safe accommodation for the victims, taking into account the specific needs of women and girls. In her closing remarks, Járóka drew the attention of civil society representatives to the necessity of close cooperation with Roma communities at the grassroots level.