Anti-trafficking experts to meet in Brussels
Anti-trafficking coordinators and rapporteurs on human trafficking from EU Member States will meet on the invitation of EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Myria Vassiliadou in Brussels on 4–5 December. The meeting is organised as part of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The European Commission has raised concerns that criminal liability for human trafficking offences is poorly realised in the Member States. Year by year, victims are better identified, but the number of judgments passed for trafficking in human beings still remains low.
The main theme of the meeting is the fight against trafficking in human beings and, in particular, trafficking related to sexual exploitation. The Commission has considered it important to intervene in the demand behind human trafficking and highlighted the Member States’ obligation under EU law to consider criminalising the use of services provided by victims of human trafficking. In Finland, purchasing sexual services from a victim of human trafficking has been criminalised, but this is not the case everywhere in Europe.
The post of Anti-Trafficking Coordinator is about to be transferred from the Ministry of the Interior to the Ministry of Justice in the beginning of 2020. In Finland, the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman acts as an independent rapporteur on human trafficking.