The problem of Human Trafficking is an increasingly disturbing phenomenon in Europe with terrible consequences for victims, the majority of which are forced into prostitution, street crime, domestic servitude or other forms of labour exploitation. Furthermore, as well as devastating the lives of individuals, this crime has far-reaching implications for the social, economic and organisational fabric of every affected community in Europe.
Recently, several reports have highlighted the urgent need to raise public awareness of trafficking, improve training in order to better identify victims, and develop better institutional co-operation and multi-agency working – all critical in the fight against trafficking, which alarmingly includes large numbers of children. In order to tackle its multi-level and cross-border roots effectively, a multidisciplinary and comparative approach at EU and national level is required, alongside a renewed political will to combat this problem.
With a new Directive on trafficking in human beings adopted by the European Council in March this year, the 3rd Annual International Symposium on Preventing Human Trafficking offers a timely opportunity for local, regional and national authorities to gather comparative knowledge, discuss the latest challenges and share examples of cross-border best practices.
The adoption of a new Directive is a pivotal step towards the creation of a structured and comprehensive strategy backed by a robust legal framework. Key to the ambitious new measures is the adoption of a victim-centred approach, which includes a gender perspective and aims to shed more light on issues such as a common definition of the crime, cross-border prosecution, treatment of vulnerable victims, victims support, witness protection, monitoring mechanisms and prevention aspects.
Seeking to integrate the European knowledge, this annual Symposium provides a platform to bring together case studies and best practices with important contributions from EU policymakers, major international organizations and NGOs from across Europe.
In order to encourage greater political will, facilitate policy discussion and explore comprehensive and integrated solutions to fighting the ‘hidden’ crime of human trafficking, Public Policy Exchange is proud to host this annual Symposium and welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking, topical debate.