European Union Struggles to Convict for Human Trafficking
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 4:40 PM

Eurojust, the European Union's joint judicial authority, is struggling to get the EU’s member states to stop human trafficking and increase the number of convictions related to trafficking.

Hundreds of thousands are trafficked within the EU each year. However, in 2009, only 1,250 individuals were convicted for trafficking. The number of convictions is low compared to the number of victims. The European Commission noted a lack of coordination between member states and a lack of evidence to convict as possible reasons for the low number of convictions. Most recently, Cyprus was included in the same category as Afghanistan and Liberia in a ranking on trafficking.
On June 19, 2012, the European Commission released a strategy aimed at eradicating human trafficking. The strategy includes better tactics to identify and protect victims, increased prosecution, development of child protection services, the implementation of national law enforcement units on trafficking, and the creation of joint investigation teams. In order to increase convictions, the strategy promotes multidisciplinary cooperation at the local, national, and transnational levels. Adopting the EU legislation has the potential to provide real and concrete impact for the lives of victims and to prevent others from falling victim to trafficking.