The silk road of inhumane transport: Although 72% of human trafficking victims in the EU were women and 60% suffered from sexual exploitation, the new EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings falls short of specific measures to protect women. Considering the variability of measures by Member States, what steps should the EU take to prevent women from trafficking for sexual exploitation?

Submitted by: Pien de Boer (NL), Imme Bosman (NL), Róisín Clancy (NL), Anne Groenewegen (NL), Helen van Hulten (NL), Ciana Kokos (NL), Fay Mills (NL), Joulia Saker (NL), Raven Staal (NL), Skyler Williams (NL), Raphael Gross-Chartuni (Chairperson, NL), Nina Tsoutsanis (Chairperson, NL)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Acknowledging the monotony, lack of clarity and ineffectiveness of the measures taken by the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings1 The EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings 2021-2025 provides a guideline on the general approach towards human trafficking in the EU. The Strategy is an updated implementation of the 2011 Anti-Trafficking Directive. and previous EU directives,
  2. Alarmed by the absence of a gendered approach in the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings despite 92% of sex trafficking victims being women,
  3. Conscious of the increase in human trafficking for digital sexual exploitation due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
  4. Bearing in mind the lack of effective law enforcement in tackling sex trafficking due to:
    1. a perceived lack of evidence,
    2. a lack of conviction of prosecuted traffickers,
    3. difficulty in identifying victims and perpetrators,
  5. Noting with regret the lack of sufficient psychological support for human trafficking survivors during and after the prosecution process of their traffickers,
  6. Fully aware that survivors of human trafficking are discouraged from reaching out to law enforcement due to:
    1. the victims’ inaccessibility to legal documents and identification,
    2. the current criminalisation of sex work in most Member States,
  7. Pointing out the limited gender-based training2 Gender-based training is educational programming that tries to combat gender bias. in law enforcement for cases of human trafficking for sexual exploitation,
  8. Observing the inadequate regulations surrounding sex work leading to endangerment of sex workers and an increase in sex trafficking,
  9. Recognising the importance of free movement of people in the Schengen Area while understanding the negative effect of open borders on human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 
  10. Taking into consideration that same-sex shelters3 A same-sex shelter is a measure mentioned in the EU Strategy where a shelter is segregated by biological sex instead of gender. are not LGBT+ inclusive;
  1. Calls upon the European Commission to create a report regarding: 
    1. the ineffectiveness of the EU Strategy on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings,
    2. the progress in the implementation of the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings regarding female human trafficking victims, 
    3. the current increase of human trafficking for digital sexual exploitation;
  2. Directs the European Commission to amend the current EU Strategy on Combating Trafficking In Human Beings by including a subsection with a specific and detailed focus on women;
  3. Appeals to the Europol4 Europol is a European organisation that tackles crime together with the Member States. It makes assessments and reports on the current situation. to create comprehensive police training programmes tailored towards human trafficking victims and perpetrators;
  4. Further appeals to the European Commission to allocate funding for the police training programmes;
  5. Encourages Member States and Frontex5 Frontex is the agency dedicated to facilitating free movement by safekeeping the borders and coasts of Member States. to implement the aforementioned police training programmes;
  6. Urges the European Commission to make same-sex shelters gender-inclusive;
  7. Invites the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA)6 GRETA is monitors the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings and regularly publishes reports on the state of human trafficking in individual Member States. to create guidelines regarding staff training in shelters to combat gender exclusion;
  8. Seeks that Frontex create a gender-focused border patrol strategy for the prevention and detection of human trafficking for sexual exploitation;
  9. Suggests Member States to legalise or decriminalise sex work;
  10. Proposes GRETA assist the European Commission in creating a legal framework on the regulation of the sex work industry by streamlining documentation, registration and living standards of sex workers;
  11. Instructs the European Commission to establish a legal framework on the prosecution of human traffickers, based on the renewed EU Strategy on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings;
  12. Asks Victim Support Europe7 Victim Support Europe is the largest umbrella organisation in the EU for the provision of victim care. to extend their services to trafficking victims for sexual exploitation, including psychological support and resocialisation programmes, with a focus on care during and after the prosecution process.