European Union Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, has called on member states to work together with civil society, the private sector and international organisations to eradicate human trafficking.
The commissioner was speaking at the sixth annual EU anti-trafficking day organised jointly by the EU Commission and the Cyprus EU council presidency, on 18 October 2012.
IFSW Secretary General, Rory Truell, agreed with Commissioner Malmström that “depriving someone of their liberty, exploiting them and trading them as commodities for profit are serious human rights violation”.
The EU’s new legislation on trafficking in human beings was described as “ambitious” and she urged member states to “translate the legislation into reality”. “The focus must now be on implementation, we need to translate the legislation into reality. We have an obligation, moral as well as legal, to act,” said the Commissioner.
Eleni Mavrou, minister of interior of the Republic of Cyprus, also attended the conference. Speaking alongside European anti-trafficking coordinator Myria Vassiliadou, he said “the fact is that, despite all our efforts, this crime remains one of the fastest growing forms of organised crime, maintained and developed by exploiting poverty, social inequality and the lack of real prospects in the countries of origin of victims”
Maria Vassiliadou said that “up to 880,000 people are estimated by the International Labour Organisation to be trafficked into the European Union”. She concluded that Europe can only fight trafficking effectively if this is done “together with international organisations, third countries, civil society organisations, the private sector and everyone else involved in addressing trafficking”.
IFSW supports measures to reduce and eliminate human trafficking within the framework of The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development.