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The EU must act to prevent trafficking, not simply observe its horrors

Speaking in this morning's debate on the 'Gender Dimension in Trafficking of Human Beings' GUE/NGL MEPs called for a halt to the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls.

Swedish MEP Malin Björk said: “I am happy to hear you will be focusing on addressing demand for trafficked women, but what exactly is this demand? Brothel owners, pimps, but also men buying sex. The Nordic model has been very effective in addressing the issue of demand, so what will the Commission do to tackle this?

She continued: “We don't need more police officers and border controls to deal with this issue, we need fewer brothels.”

Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber added: “Firstly, we need up-to-date figures on this, due to the deteriorating situation in many countries. The latest figures date from 2012. There's is no denying these figures show that the vast majority of the victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation are women. The UN has established a direct link between trafficking and the exploitation of women. If we stop the exploitation, much of the trafficking would cease. We have to tackle the issue of those who make a living from trafficking.”

Eleonora Forenza (Italy) continued: “It is important to ensure member states' actions are properly monitored; we need to be more and more determined to enshrine the right of women to self-determination. We must do more; we cannot see the victims of trafficking just as bodies, they are women.”

Kostadinka Kuneva concluded: “What is the Commission doing to protect these people? We in the EU are behind the development of events, delaying progress. Member states also have a responsibility, and must not allow these paradoxical and hypocritical policies to go unchallenged. Closing the legal borders to immigration feeds this idea of trafficking as a way to enter the EU to more and more people. The EU has contributed to this. We need to act to have cohesion; we do not want to find ourselves just observers to these horrors.”

 

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20