JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS: MEP SEEKS TO PUSH TRAFFICKING FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION UP THE AGENDA.

Position:Ms. Prets
 
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Ms Prets is calling for an annual anti-human-trafficking day to be established with its own logo, along the same lines as already exists for AIDS and breast cancer. She proposes that a telephone helpline with the same number across Europe should be set up and publicised. She wants the EU to fund non-governmental organisations in places like Ukraine to counter the myths that traffickers propagate to recruit victims. Police officers need to be trained better in handling the victims in order to gain their trust and victims should be given proper care and security if they testify against the traffickers, she says.

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There are two key pieces of EU legislation on human-trafficking. Framework Decision 2002/629/EC harmonises the definition of human-trafficking and makes it an extraditable offence across the EU. Individuals found guilty face maximum prison sentences of at least eight years in prison, while the sanctions for legal entities range from being denied state aid to permanent closure. Directive 2004/81/EC set up a scheme whereby victims of trafficking living illegally in the EU can get residence permits for at least six months if they help the authorities prosecute the...

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