4 April 2014

The European Migration Network (EMN) has published a report on the identification of victims of trafficking in human beings in international protection and forced return procedures in Europe. While acknowledging the potential of EU law in providing a holistic framework for the protection of victims of trafficking, the synthesis report highlights that there is evidence that these victims may go unidentified, with the consequence that the assistance available to them under EU law may not be granted. Nonetheless, some States show good practice in the proactive detection of potential victims of trafficking through systematic screenings at early stages of the procedure, training of asylum caseworkers and facilitation of victims’ self-reporting.

In addition, the report shows that only three Member States have in the past granted international protection on the grounds of being a victim of trafficking: Norway, 27 cases between 2009 and 2012; Finland, 4 cases between 2008 and 2012; and Spain, 2 cases in 2013. The superior courts of Germany and France are currently reviewing cases where international protection status may be granted on this ground. The granting of refugee status on the grounds of trafficking is theoretically possible also in Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovakia, but in practice there have been no cases.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 4 April 2014
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