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Prevention and fight against trafficking in human beings — A European Union strategy since 1996

RAPID The Press and Communication Service of the European Commission
Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Each year, at world level, hundreds of thousands of women and children are being moved across international borders by trafficking rings. The European Union has been actively engaged since 1996 in developing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach towards the prevention of and fight against trafficking in human beings. Here are a few examples of the way this strategy has been implemented over the last four years, going backwards in time.


The European Union and its Member States generally acknowledge the positive value of international migration when it takes place in a regulated and predictable manner. They are alarmed, however, by irregular migratory movements. Indeed, in the face of the perceived threat posed by this phenomenon, States have introduced a series of measures to deter or prevent migrants from gaining unauthorised entry into their territories. The blanket enforcement of such measures makes it increasingly difficult for refugees and asylum-seekers to secure access to international protection. With this concern in mind, UNHCR must stress that the Action Plan contained in the Commission Communication on a Common Policy on Illegal Immigration and subsequently adopted by the Member States strike a proper balance between migration control priorities and refugee protection imperatives.

Download this resource: PDF icon UNHCR-0207.pdf

Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights
and Human Trafficking
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights to the Economic and Social Council.

You can download this 16 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

Download this resource: PDF icon UN-E2002-68.pdf

The Annotated Guide to the new UN Trafficking Protocol is a tool to assist advocates in the development of a human rights framework for national anti-trafficking laws and policies. In December 2000, the UN adopted international instruments to fight transnational organized crime and additional agreements or protocols to combat trafficking in persons, smuggling and firearms.

Download this resource: PDF icon UN-TRAFFICK.pdf

Knowledge and experience about how to work with sex workers on health issues remains incomplete and controversial. However, by bringing together epidemiological data, operations and behavioural research, project reports and, most importantly, information from communities themselves, practical strategies, guiding principles and measures of success can be identified. A degree of consensus has emerged among frontline projects and key agencies, including many governments, about which combination of policies and programmes reduce HIV transmission during commercial sex.

Download this resource: PDF icon OVERS-SOLUTION.pdf