EU Agencies present first full overview of actions to detect and protect victims of human trafficking

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EU Agencies present first full overview of actions to detect and protect victims of human trafficking
18 October 2021

The European Union agencies active in the field of justice and home affairs have presented the first full overview of actions to help victims of trafficking in human beings. The main operational activities are listed in a joint report of the Justice and Home Affairs Agencies Network (JHAAN) published today on the occasion of EU Anti-Trafficking Day under the leadership of Eurojust. The report is a key building block of the EU Strategy on combatting Trafficking in Human Beings and serves as a key reference document for national authorities engaged in tackling human trafficking.

The Executive Director of CEPOL, Dr. h.c. Detlef Schröder noted:

‘We have made significant progress together and the joint report of the JHA agencies’ network marks our dedication to continue our efforts on the identification and protection of victims of human trafficking. To counter this complex phenomenon, creating a network of trust is key, and law enforcement cooperation, knowledge and skills are important elements of success for cross-border operations. CEPOL will continue to contribute to our common efforts by offering the EU law enforcement community top-notch training opportunities so that they can stay ahead of this heinous crime’.

During the Eurojust Presidency of the JHAAN, for the first time, a compendium was made of all different actions taken by CEPOL, EASO, EIGE, eu-LISA, Eurojust, Europol, FRA and Frontex, to reach out to victims of human trafficking at all stages of prevention, investigations, operations and legal proceedings. The initiative is a concrete result following the Joint Statement of commitment to work together against trafficking in human beings, signed in 2018.

The JHAAN report of today aims to make Member States more aware of the Agencies’ potential in helping the early identification and protection of victims. Furthermore, it encourages them to cooperate closely with the Agencies involved in this area and to build on their expertise. The report responds to one of the key actions of the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings 2021-2025.

The report is the result of a questionnaire sent to all agencies and the outcome of a meeting of JHAAN experts, hosted by Eurojust in June this year. It builds on two important strands in the process of investigating criminal networks involved in human trafficking, namely the early identification of victims and measures and actions for their protection.

JHA_Identification_THB_Victims

Training activities covering Trafficking in Human Beings are always an important part of the CEPOL training portfolio. More specifically, this month, to mark the EU Anti-Trafficking day, CEPOL organised an onsite training activity on child trafficking. The aim of the course was to enhance the capacity of law enforcement officers in identifying child victims and in tackling child trafficking. Also on the 21st of October, CEPOL is organising a webinar on Nigerian Trafficking networks. Participants will enhance their knowledge on these networks operating in the EU and engaging in the sexual exploitation of young women via the presentation of the EMPACT THB `ETUTU` project and a case study.

CEPOL’s online learning platform, LEEd, has a dedicated section on THB, where law enforcement officials can find a variety of learning resources on the topic, including recorded webinars addressing new and emerging trends, such as Webinar 18/2021 'Children in migration at risk of trafficking', Webinar 17/2021 Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and victim engagement - Case studies, Webinar 71/2020 'The protection of EU national children deprived of parental care who are victims or at risk of trafficking', Webinar COVID 11/2020 'The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on modi operandi in THB and the consequences for law enforcement', as well as our online module, providing the knowledge and skills needed to identify and assist potential victims of trafficking.

More information on this year’s activities on THB are available in the CEPOL Training Catalogue 2021.


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