With over 20 million people falling victims to human trafficking between 2002 and 2011, the European Union released a strategy on 19 June towards the eradication of human trafficking for 2012-2016.
As an organization dedicated in working with children, families and their communities to overcome poverty and injustice, World Vision welcomed EU’s steps in the global fight against the “slavery of our times”. The strategy identifies a number of priorities the EU must focus on to combat the crime of human trafficking.
Marius Wanders, World Vision’s EU Representative and member of the EU Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings has said, “It’s encouraging to see the EU strategy goes well beyond the current approach of protection, prevention and prosecution. It now includes the essential measures of Europe-wide coordination, cooperation and coherence of policies”.
Creating the European Business Coalition against trafficking, the EU set up five priorities toward the eradication of human trafficking, including: increasing prosecution, stepping up prevention, assisting victims, and enhancing policy coherence.
One issue World Vision says it would have liked to see more prominently addressed is the high vulnerability of children in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. Major disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the Haiti earthquake have shown how easily children fall prey to traffickers in the chaos that follows.