New report highlights gendered nature of trafficking within the EU & the need for appropriate supports
Today is EU Anti-Trafficking Day and to mark the occasion a new report on gender-specific measures in anti-trafficking actions, based on research undertaken by members of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, the European Network of Migrant Women and independent Irish researchers, is being launched in the European Parliament. The report was compiled by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in cooperation with the European Commission.
Nusha Yonkova, Gender and Anti-Trafficking Expert, Immigrant Council of Ireland, said, “We welcome the publication of this report as it provides additional guidance on how to assist trafficked women in a gender-specific way. We are delighted to have co-produced the original study upon which this report is based, as it provides much needed practical information as well as an academic angle to the review of the EU measures for gender-specific assistance of sex trafficked women.
“Trafficking in human beings is a highly gendered phenomenon, which disproportionately affects women and girls. This is particularly so in the case of trafficking for sexual exploitation and/or forced marriage, where we see consistently high proportion of migrant women. It’s also important to acknowledge any figures discussed represent the tip of the iceberg as they refer only to officially identified victims. Housing trafficked women who are recovering from sexual exploitation in direct provision hostels is not a gender-specific example of assistance and needs to be reviewed.”
Anna Zobnina, European Network of Migrant Women, said, “A combination of root causes including gender inequalities, women and girls’ vulnerability to domestic violence, and the demand for paid sexual acts, makes them particularly vulnerable to trafficking and/or forced marriage, a trend seen across EU Member States. The harms which arise as a result place these crimes within the wider continuum of gender-based violence and violence against women which require a gender sensitive response.
“All EU Member States must take notice of the analysis within this report, which establishes the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive, complemented by the Victims’ Rights Directive, could provide a viable system for gender-specific support, assistance and protection of trafficked women and girls.”
Recommendations in brief
The study which informed this report identified three clear steps to respond to the gendered nature of trafficking and ensure better support for victims.
- The gendered nature of human trafficking must be given sufficient weight and concrete meaning
- Acknowledge and treat the gendered forms of human trafficking as violence against women, as outlined in the Anti-Trafficking Directive and the Victims’ Rights Directive
- A gender specific identification and recognition programme for victims is needed to ensure they can access appropriate support as soon as possible
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About the Immigrant Council of Ireland:
The Immigrant Council of Ireland is the leading voice in securing improved rights and protections which benefit Irish citizens, migrants and their families. Founded by Sr Stanislaus Kennedy in 2001, the Immigrant Council of Ireland uses its front line services to meet the immediate needs and counter the challenges faced by immigrants in Ireland. The organisation uses this experience to put forward clear, evidence based proposals to change Irish law. For more information, please visitwww.immigrantcouncil.ie.