Date: 21 March 2023
Authors: Contributions from Hope and Homes for Children, ECPAT, Terres des Hommes the Netherlands, the European Disability Forum, Eurochild, Missing Children Europe, International Social Service, Child Helpline International, Child Identity Protection, LUMOS, Street Child and Child Identity Protection,
Hope and Homes for Children, together with ECPAT, Terres des Hommes the Netherlands, the European Disability Forum, Eurochild, Missing Children Europe, International Social Service, Child Helpline International, Child Identity Protection, LUMOS, Street Child and Save the Children, welcome the European Commission’s proposal to review Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.
This revision is both timely and necessary. We see in this revision a long-awaited opportunity to further strengthen the Directive by adding a special mention of the phenomenon of institution-related trafficking and introducing specific measures to uphold the rights of all children, including children deprived of parental care.
The link between institutions and human trafficking was recognised by the United Nations and the Council of Europe. While the European Union has committed to supporting and promoting the transition from institutional to community and family-based care in its most relevant funding regulations and relevant policies, it has never officially recognised the connection between trafficking and institutionalisation in its policies or legislation.
Institution-related trafficking constitutes a threat to a broad range of children’s rights. Therefore, the European Union should recognise the link between child trafficking and institutions and address and prevent these grave human rights violations.