The new Directive for combating criminal trafficking networks of human beings in the EU

Elena Kountoura MEP
Stop sexual harassment and violence against women, rape and sexual abuse concept, STOP gesture with hand, Stop drugs, human rights violations, human trafficking, Copy space.

Elena Kountoura in the Plenary of the European Parliament: The new Directive for combating criminal trafficking networks of human beings in the EU and the enhanced protection of victims should be implemented immediately.

Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), The Member of the European Parliament for SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, Elena Kountoura, urged the governments of EU member states to incorporate into their national laws and immediately implement the new European directive, which is being voted on today in the European Parliament, to improve legislation combating human trafficking (trafficking) and enhance the protection of victims.

Elena Kountoura, as a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), and as a rapporteur of the European Parliament and her party’s policy group on a range of issues addressing gender-based violence, actively participated in shaping the European Parliament’s positions on protecting the rights of victims from forms of violence that are escalating in the European Union.

Every year, more than 7,000 individuals in the European Union fall victim to criminal trafficking networks, mainly for sexual exploitation, and the majority of them are women and girls. This number is estimated to be significantly higher, given that not all cases are recorded.

Following the agreement reached with the Council, the existing European legislation on human trafficking is being updated and expanded to include forced marriage, illegal adoption, and exploitation of surrogate motherhood.

Additionally, the authority to dismantle criminal organizations, impose penalties on those who knowingly use services provided by trafficking victims, and impose sanctions on companies convicted of trafficking will be further expanded. Priority is also given to the protection and adequate support of the most vulnerable, including women, persons with disabilities, and unaccompanied children.

Elena Kountoura’s speech in plenary:

“Every year, more than 7,000 individuals fall victim to criminal trafficking networks in Europe, and the majority of victims are women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation.

One in four recorded victims is a citizen of the same country. This crime is increasingly developing on the internet.

The new Directive on combating human trafficking enhances victims’ rights, strengthens prevention measures, and equips member states with the necessary framework to address trafficking criminal networks and support victims.

It provides for stricter penalties on issues such as forced marriage, surrogate pregnancy, and illegal adoption.

For the first time, we have protection measures for children in institutions and people with disabilities.

It obliges the countries of the European Union to impose sanctions on individuals who knowingly use services provided by trafficking victims.

Now it is the responsibility of the EU member states to implement it immediately.”

Elena Kountoura’s intervention: YouTube link

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Elena Kountoura is a Greek MEP from the Left Political Group. She is a member of several committees, including Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Transport and Tourism, Industry, Research and Energy, and Artificial Intelligence. She previously served as Minister of Tourism of Greece and has worked with several NGOs.