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Report from the Fourth EU Civil Society Platform Meeting in Brussels

 

Fourth Meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform in Brussels, 21-22 October 2014
Fourth Meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform in Brussels, 21-22 Oct. 2014

Fourth meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings 21 and 22 October 2014, Brussels

The fourth Meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings took place in Brussels on 21-22 October 2014, and gathered representatives from 92 civil society organisations from EU Member States and Albania, Morocco, Turkey and Ukraine, working at the European and International level.

At the beginning NREMs (National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms) from five member states: Italy, Bulgaria, France, Ireland and Latvia presented themselves, their work, and the cooperation with and role of civil society organisations in their countries.

 

First day, 21 October 2014

Joint Meeting of the Informal Network of NREMs with the EU Civil Society Platform

After this there was time for networking and bilateral meetings. The NREMs and participants of the Platform discussed issues of joint concern. For the non EU-member states this networking was not possible, because their national coordinators against human trafficking were not invited. The International Federation of the Red Cross was present to share best practices with organisations from third countries.

The last three reports from the EU Commission were made public and mainly the civil society recommendations for the next EU Commission Strategy after 2016 were prepared. These reports can be found here:

  1. The Commission presented the Midterm Report, covering the period June 2012 – 3rd quarter 2014, which refers to various deliverables of the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016 (the EU Strategy) as well as the policy and legal context in which it is being implemented.

http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/trafficking_en_swd_part1_v2.pdf

  1. the Commission presented the Second Eurostat Report on THB, which includes statistical data from all MS, plus ME, NO, RS, CH, and TR. But we have to be aware, that there are indications to believe that the actual number of victims is much higher than the one recorded

http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/thb_wp2013-2014_final_161014.pdf

  1. the Commission presented the Report on the application of Directive 2004/81/EC on residence permits to non-EU victims of THB, who cooperate with authorities. This directive could be used more, only half the number of permits given than registered victims.

http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/trafficking_en_act_part1_v6.pdf
 

Second day, 22 October 2014

Parallel Workshops

The participants split into three workshops to discuss and draft recommendations.

 

Workshop I

Early identification of victims of THB
The main objective of this workshop was to discuss the full implementation of EU legal and policy framework on the identification of victims.
 
Workshop II
Assistance to and protection of victims of THB
The participants were asked to focus on the full implementation of the EU legal and policy framework in the area of assistance and protection to victims of THB.
 
Workshop III
Ensuring demand reduction
The participants were asked to focus on the full implementation of the EU legal and policy framework in the area of demand reduction.
According to article 18.4 Member States are obliged to consider criminalizing those who knowingly use services of victims of trafficking. Further, article 23 requests that in 2016 the Commission will produce a report assessing the legal measures some Member States have taken to criminalise the use of services of victims of trafficking in human beings and if necessary proposing further action.
The participants were asked to focus their discussions on this issue.
 
Report written by Sr. Mirjam Beike RGS