Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Valsamis Mitsilegas, Maria Bergström and Theodore Konstadinides
Chapter 20: Evolution of the EU action against trafficking of human beings
The purpose of this chapter is to explore the evolution of the EU measures against human trafficking and analyse the extent to which the EU and Member States have been successful in promoting concerted and effective actions. It begins with an illustration of the past EU action with particular reference to the Council Framework Decision 2002/639/JHA on combating trafficking in human beings adopted in 2002 under the Treaty on European Union as revised by the Treaty of Amsterdam. The chapter examines how approximation of national criminal laws and procedures among Member States, the key principle behind this instrument, was achieved by Member States. In so doing, the chapter looks at the common definition of trafficking and minimum rules relating to the punishment regimes and protection of victims. It then analyses the present action being implemented under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In this regard, the chapter compares and contrasts Directive 2011/36/EU on human trafficking adopted in 2011 with the 2002 Framework Directive in order to measure the extent of evolution. The main conclusion reached is that, while the EU and Member States have been taking a leadership role in promoting and implementing various measures against human trafficking, achieving a level of approximation has proven to be difficult due to state sovereignty as well as political, cultural and social differences.
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