Commission proposes stronger rules in anti-trafficking

Publicated on: December 20, 2022

On 19 December 2022, the European Commission proposed to strengthen the rules that prevent and combat trafficking in human beings.

The European Commission published a proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending the Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims. It is now up to the European Parliament and the Council to examine the proposal. Once adopted, Member States will have to transpose the new rules into their national law.

According to the directive, the updated rules will cover forced marriage and illegal adoption as well as information and communication technologies, including internet and social media. In addition, the directive proposes mandatory sanctions for legal persons held accountable for trafficking offences. One of the aim of the directive is to decrease the demand by making it a criminal offence for people who knowingly use services provided by victims of trafficking. Moreover, the directive intends to establish an EU-wide annual data collection on trafficking in human beings to be published by Eurostat.

At the same time, the Commission published the fourth report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings. The report identifies the main patterns and challenges in the fight against trafficking in human beings, outlines the main actions to be taken against trafficking in human beings and provides an analysis of the statistics for the period.

Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation continued to be the most prevalent form of exploitation, the labour exploitation is the second most prevalent form.  Romania, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Poland are the most affected countries in terms of registered victims of trafficking who are EU nationals, while Nigeria, China, Moldova, Pakistan and Morocco have the highest number of non-EU national victims.

The report covers Hungary's national anti-trafficking strategy, awareness-raising campaigns and information materials prepared for early victim identification. The report also mentions that Hungary participates in the EMPACT cooperation and also forms Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) for the efficiency of cross-border investigations. The document reports on the ground-breaking change in Hungarian law, whereby the knowing use of a service in the case of child victims is now a criminal offence and increases the level of punishment.

For more information about the Directive and the Report, visit the website below:  


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