Commission’s approach to combatting human trafficking is contradictory and ineffective
Several MEPs have questioned the European Commission over its actions to stop human trafficking in the European Parliament.
Among them, Greek MEP Kostadinka Kuneva, Co-Author of the Oral Question, asked the Commission:
"What is the price of human dignity? It seems that for the Commission the price is very low."
"Trafficking is a crime which is developing with a rapid pace. It is modern-day slavery with 30 million victims, of which 5.5 million are children. It takes many different forms – prostitution, forced labour, forced begging, even the trafficking of infants and organs.
"We have a good directive against trafficking, but why are the results so poor? Perhaps because the strategies from the Commission are conflicting in nature. How does the Commission intend to deal with traffickers? By blocking the legal pathways for migration that exist. This approach just pushes people into the arms of traffickers.
"It is time for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. I call for a viable sustainable policy against trafficking that would fight the great inequalities that exist in the world today, because these are the root causes of trafficking. More funds are required in order to support victims and prevent this horrific crime. Serious punishment and sanctions against those who commit or are complicit in these crimes are also needed. Human beings must not be objects of this sort of commerce."
Czech MEP, Kateřina Konečná, added:
"For a year and a half, I have been asking the EU institutions what is happening regarding the various reports published in The Guardian, which state that 330,000 Vietnamese children are being held in various locations across the United Kingdom?"
"Slavery is essentially what is happening to them. The UK has done nothing to address this so far, despite numerous requests to investigate this issue.
"International conventions prohibit this type of activity, but when we sign an international convention these problems don't just go away. We need to ensure the implementation of these conventions. We must take measures to ensure that these problems don't continue. The EU ought to serve as an example for others."
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