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Migration and Home Affairs

An EU coordinated response to Trafficking in Human Beings

The complexity of the trafficking phenomenon calls for a comprehensive response. This is why the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025), includes legal, policy and operational initiatives, focusing on:

  • reducing demand that fosters trafficking for all forms of exploitation
  • breaking the business model of traffickers, online and offline
  • protecting, supporting and empowering the victims with a specific focus on women and children
  • the international dimension

As combatting trafficking in human beings needs the engagement of all, the Commission will work closely with all partners, including the EU agencies, Member States and civil society, to maximise the impact of these four areas of actions.

Joint efforts to address trafficking in human beings occur through regular meetings with the networks listed below.

EU Network of National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms on Trafficking in Human Beings

As per Article 19 of the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive, Member States have an obligation to establish national rapporteurs or equivalent mechanisms (NREMs). The NREMs’ tasks are essential, as they include the carrying out of the assessments of trends in trafficking in human beings, the measuring of results of anti-trafficking actions, including the gathering of statistics in close cooperation with relevant civil society organisations active in this field, and reporting.

The NREMs play a crucial role in the preparation of the progress reports on trafficking in human beings, as per Article 20 of the Directive. The EU Anti-trafficking Coordinator (EU ATC) works closely with the EU Network of the NREMs by sharing information and exchanging best practices, as well as in order to coordinate the tasks at the EU and national level.

The Network meets twice per year, including in Joint Session with the EU Civil Society Platform. The EU ATC, on behalf of the European Commission, co-chairs the meetings with the incumbent Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

EU Civil Society Platform and ePlatform against trafficking in human beings

The EU Civil Society Platform (CSP) against trafficking in human beings was launched in 2013 as a key action of the EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings (2012-2016), and currently brings together nearly 100 participants from across the EU and beyond.

The Platform regularly meets twice per year, including in joint session with the EU Network of National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms on trafficking in human beings.

The role of the CSP Platform

The Anti-trafficking Directive emphasises the role of civil society and encourages EU countries to work closely with civil society organisations including recognised and active non-governmental organisations working with trafficked persons in:

  • policymaking initiatives
  • information and awareness-raising campaigns
  • research and education programmes and in training
  • monitoring and evaluating the impact of anti-trafficking measures

The current EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025) also underlines the European Commission’s work with the EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings.

CSP ePlatform

The Platform is complemented by an online ePlatform, launched in 2014 to include further participants while overcoming logistical and budget constraints, as well as to give continuity to the discussions held in the meetings of the Platform, fostering information exchange and facilitating its dissemination.

Open calls for participation

Open calls for expression of interest were launched over the years. Calls targeted civil society organisations based in selected non-EU countries, working especially on child victims of trafficking, and to ensure geographical balance, as well as organisations legally based in EU countries.

Special notice

Please note that participants of both the EU CSP Platform and the ePlatform have applied to the calls for expression of interest launched by the European Commission, and have been selected through the respective processes. Due to the numerous expressions of interest received, several calls have been published over the years. Spontaneous applications, in the absence of an open call, cannot be taken into consideration, but we encourage you to monitor this website, which will be updated should new open calls be published in the future.

You are also encouraged to liaise with the participants of both the platforms to be informed about on-going joint efforts towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings.

Coordination Network of the EU Agencies’ contact points

The Heads of ten EU Agencies signed a 2018 Joint Statement of commitment to working together to address trafficking in human beings, building on the work done and the synergies created since the 2011 Joint Statement was signed.

The Commission coordinates their cooperation, in line with their respective mandates, to address challenges related to combatting trafficking in human beings.