The European Parliament has voted to adopt revised rules on trafficked persons.

The amended Directive (2011/36/EU) – which specifically regards the prevention and combating of trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims – will broaden the EU’s current actions regarding exploitation beyond that of forced labour and sex trafficking.

The Directive means that the EU will have regard also for the criminalisation of forced marriage, illegal adoption, and the exploitation of surrogacy. MEPS voted overwhelmingly in favour of the amendment with 563 voting in favour, and 17 abstaining.

Further amendments include:

  • Increased coordination between anti-trafficking and asylum authorities
  • Criminalisation of services of trafficked victim, where the user is aware of the exploitation
  • Penalties for companies convicted of trafficking
  • Increased support to victims

The Directive will also introduce an amendment protecting victims of trafficking who have been forced into criminality. The amendment ensures that prosecutors are able to choose not to prosecute victims for criminal acts they were coerced into committing. Southwell & Partners specialises in appealing convictions of this nature.