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Published on July 4th, 2018 | by Elpida Tsiaka

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Commission: Heads of ten EU Agencies commit to working together against trafficking in human beings

On Wednesday, 13 June 2018, the Heads of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), European Police Office (Europol), European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA), European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), EU Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust), European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)  signed a Joint Statement of commitment to working together to address trafficking in human being, ensuring a coordinated, coherent and comprehensive response.

The Joint Statement is a key concrete action set forth by the December 2017 Commission Communication stepping up action to address trafficking in human beings. The signing event, organised on the initiative of the EU Anti-trafficking Coordinator Myria Vassiliadou in line with her mandate, took place in the context of the meeting of the EU Network of National Rapporteurs and Equivalent Mechanisms on trafficking in human beings, appointed by all Member States, and was opened by Commissioner Avramopoulos (via video), the Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Interior H.E. Mr. Krasimir Tsipov, European Commission’s Deputy Director General Olivier Onidi on behalf of Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs Paraskevi Michou, and Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, Virginija Langbakk.

“With today’s Joint Statement of ten EU agencies, we are making a significant step forward in further enhancing our cooperation and coordination towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings. EU Agencies’ expertise and operational capacity will boost the effectiveness of our common efforts to stop this heinous crime. The Agencies’ commitment to a gender-specific and child-sensitive approach will complement the efforts deployed by Member States, the Commission and the other EU institutions in combatting trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims”, said Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos.

“The Commission will continue monitoring the implementation of the commitments, building on the synergies created since back in 2011, and we look forward to the next steps in our close cooperation. In line with Commission’s policy priorities, the Joint Statement will further contribute to operationalising political commitments, placing prevention at the core. This remains our ultimate goal; we need to counter the culture of impunity for all perpetrators. We owe this to the victims”, said Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator.

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