Trafficking in human beings: MEPs ready to negotiate new EU rules

  • Parliament wants to include new crimes like forced marriage, illegal adoption and surrogacy for reproductive exploitation
  • Broader scope for law enforcement to dismantle criminal organisations
  • Penalties for companies convicted for trafficking

Parliament adopted its mandate for negotiations with member states to revise rules on combating human trafficking, ahead of a first round of talks in November 2023.

The mandate prepared by the Civil Liberties and Women’s Rights committees would expand the scope of the existing directive to include forced marriage, illegal adoption, surrogacy for the purposes of reproductive exploitation and better support for victims. MEPs also want to:

– make sure that victims of trafficking who are also in need of international protection receive appropriate support and protection, and that their right to asylum is respected;

– criminalise the use of services provided by a trafficking victim of an offence concerning trafficking in human beings;

– introduce penalties for companies convicted of trafficking, for example excluding them from tendering processes and from public aid or subsidies;

– ensure that victims are not prosecuted for criminal acts they were coerced into committing, and that they receive support regardless of whether they cooperate in investigations or not;

– ensure support to victims using a gender-, disability- and child-sensitive approach and based on an intersectional approach;

– guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities and appropriate support to unaccompanied children.

Parliament’s plenary approved the mandate for negotiations without a vote, in line with its rules of procedure. You can read the adopted text here.

Next steps

Parliament will start negotiations with Council in November. Member states already agreed on their position.