Campaign victory as government signs up to EU Trafficking Directive

22 March 2011

Anti-Slavery campaign victory as the government signs up to the EU Trafficking Directive

Statement from Anti-Slavery International:

“It is extremely important that the UK has recognised the need for a strengthened response across Europe and for the UK to adopt robust policy and practice to ensure that we win the battle to end this horrendous crime and protect the rights of those trafficked.

Towards this end the Government should be congratulated for making the right decision in signing up to the EU Human Trafficking Directive. It represents a commitment that trafficking will not be tolerated.” said Anti-Slavery International’s Trafficking Programme Coordinator, Klara Skrivankova.

On Saturday 19th March, Anti-Slavery International, campaigning organisation 38 Degrees and the Independent on Sunday handed in a petition to No.10 Downing Street calling on the Government to opt into the Directive.

“47,000 people signed our petition and demonstrated their strength of feeling that the UK should back this measure and do more to tackle trafficking.

It’s great that the Government has listened to and acted on their concerns. We hope that we can maintain the dialogue with the Government in developing an effective strategy to turn their commitments into reality.”  Ms Skrivankova added.

The EU Directive on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Protecting Victims is designed to bolster current international anti-trafficking law by broadening definitions of trafficking to include people forced into begging or illicit activities. The Directive also ensures comparable standards across the EU for the prosecution of traffickers and the protection of victims within criminal proceedings.

When incorporated into British law, it will create extra provisions to protect the victims of trafficking, including witness protection. The Directive will also help increase prosecutions of traffickers by extending the scope of extraterritorial jurisdiction and allowing criminal proceeds to be confiscated to pay for victim compensation.

For further media information, contact:

Iqtadar Hasnain, Anti-Slavery International, Thomas Clarkson House, The Stableyard, Broomgrove Road, London SW9 9TL

Tel: 07930 413 691