Trafficking in human beings from a gender perspective directive 2011/36/EU : European implementation assessment
Trafficking in human beings (THB), in all its forms, is a serious crime affecting fundamental rights, health, social life, economy and justice. THB knows no boundaries and most reported victims are female EU nationals from Central and Eastern Europe. THB can be tackled effectively only through a coherent approach at the levels of legislation and executive powers and through strategic policy-making. Proper investigation and prosecution are important and enhance victim protection and assistance as well as prevention. However, taking into account the gender dimension of THB is essential to ensure adequate support for the victims as well as effective prevention. The 2011 EU Anti-Trafficking Directive represents a landmark piece of legislation in that respect. The Ex-Post Impact Assessment Unit of the European Parliament has asked several groups of experts to analyse the implementation and application of the Directive, from a gender perspective, in 12 Member States: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, the UK and Spain. The contributions received point to an uneven implementation of the Directive's requirements across the EU Member States. The findings emphasise the need to improve the identification of victims, which is key for granting them protection, to establish better training on the gender aspects of the different forms of human trafficking for front-line officers, to enhance cooperation between public administration and competent NGOs, and to expand prevention via public awareness campaigning.