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“Human trafficking is modern day slavery, shackling the hope of millions to a life of despair and misery,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “FRA continues to support the struggle against trafficking to give victims renewed hope and help them end their suffering.”
The prevention of child trafficking and assistance to child victims is a priority in the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016). This strategy calls on FRA to support the European Commission in developing a tool on guardianship and legal representation of children. To this end, FRA, in cooperation with the European Commission, has recently published a handbook on guardianship for children deprived of parental care, to reinforce national guardianship systems to cater for the specific needs of child victims of trafficking in Europe.
In the past, FRA has also carried out research into child trafficking in the EU. Its report on the challenges and perspectives revealed how increased numbers of missing children from reception facilities and alternative care institutions is linked to child trafficking and exploitation. One finding from the report was that protection and care for victims, including guardianship provisions in particular, must be improved.
Trafficking for labour exploitation is another form of exploitation of men, women and children that often goes undetected and /or unreported. The Agency is currently carrying out research into severe forms of labour exploitation, including trafficking. The project seeks to collect information on the nature of and responses to severe forms of labour exploitation of EU and non-EU migrants across the EU. This work build on earlier FRA work into the rights of irregular migrants engaged in domestic work. The results will be launched in the first half of 2015.
The Agency has also been looking into the identification of trafficked victims at sea, land and air border crossing points. FRA has particularly looked into how border guards are equipped to identify and refer potential victims to national protection systems.
FRA works hand-in-hand with other EU agencies in the fight against trafficking. FRA, EASO, CEPOL, Europol, Frontex, Eurojust have all agreed to coordinate their efforts, together with the European Commission, to jointly tackle human trafficking. Joints efforts centre on partnership, prevention, prosecution and the protection of victims.