18 October 2016 11:19

A team of researchers are helping shape the way forward for anti-trafficking initiatives at EU level.

A comprehensive review of more than 300 anti-trafficking projects funded by the European Commission has been undertaken by researchers at Lancaster University.

Commissioned by the European Commission, the ‘Study on Comprehensive Policy Review of Anti-Trafficking projects funded by the European Commission’, is published to mark the 10th EU Anti-Trafficking Day (17th October).

The study, led by Professor Sylvia Walby, mapped and analysed the 300 plus projects (between 2004 and 2015) according to their scope of intervention, geographical areas of intervention, policy fields, actors, beneficiaries, funding level, types of outputs, policy recommendations and other relevant aspects

The policy review examines 321 projects, with activities in more than 100 countries worldwide with total funding of €158.5 million, according to their scope and geographic areas of intervention, as well as target beneficiaries, funding level, types of output and policy recommendations.

 It analyses project deliverables with a view to providing a solid basis for coherent, cost-effective and strategic planning, including for the further development of anti-trafficking policies at EU level.

Commission funded projects have focused on child trafficking and trafficking for labour exploitation as well as trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced begging and organ removal, with around half of the projects addressing multiple forms of exploitation.

The findings of the study further identified the next steps required to support future policy development.

The common, unique or complementary contribution of the impact and results of each project to the objectives of the EU Anti-Trafficking Strategy were identified and assessed. 

Following publication of the report, the European Commission is urging a reinvigoration of joint efforts across the Union to eradicate trafficking in human beings.

Trafficking in human beings is a grave violation of human rights and a serious form of organised crime.

Important momentum was created with the adoption of the Anti-Trafficking Directive and the EU Anti-Trafficking Strategy, and Member States have been stepping up their efforts to effectively contribute to the prevention and combatting of this crime as well as providing adequate protection and assistance to the victims.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Today, one decade after we instituted the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, we call for renewed attention to this atrocious crime. Trafficking in human beings must be stopped. Today, new trends are calling for intensified efforts from all of us: migrants and refugees, especially vulnerable persons such as women or unaccompanied children, are suffering terrible experiences at the hands of traffickers. The profits from their exploitation go to the very same networks of organised crime that we are fighting daily with our security policies. We will continue to do so, supporting our Member States in this fight, legally, operationally and financially. We owe this to each and every victim."

EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Myria Vassiliadou added: "We will now build on the results of this study, which examines anti-trafficking projects funded by the Commission and their contribution towards the objectives of the EU Anti-Trafficking Strategy. Our priorities should be to focus on both the identification of and early and effective support for victims of trafficking, to fight against traffickers and to address the trafficking chains and improve our knowledge and understanding of trafficking through data collection at national and EU level. Whilst we continue to improve EU funding initiatives to better help Member States address trafficking, we expect them to effectively implement our legal and political commitments to tackle trafficking in human beings in the EU and across the globe."