Europe’s Fight Against Human Trafficking
analysed by Armando Garcìa Schmidt and Christal Morehouse
Slavery in Europe? Forced labour in this day and age? Very few Europeans are aware of the fact that human trafficking and forced labour exist in their midst. The numerous events marking the European Day Against Human Trafficking on 18 October are hoping to draw attention to this untenable state of affairs. Even if most of us are unaware of the fact, in recent years human trafficking has become one of the most flourishing types of organized crime in Europe.
In "Europe’s Fight Against Human Trafficking", the current edition of Spotlight Europe, Armando Garcìa Schmidt and Christal Morehouse emphasize that on the member state and European levels there are now attempts to get to grips with this problem. However, much remains to be done, especially with regard to the question of victim protection. The authors are critical of the fact that conferral of victim status continues to depend on willingness to cooperate with the authorities. This suggests that the principle of criminal prosecution is more important than the human rights of the victims.
In The Netherlands and Sweden government advisers with responsibility for the fight against human trafficking have proved their worth. Garcia Schmidt and Morehouse also believe that it would be a good idea if the European Union were to appoint such an official.