The Report aimed to assess the implementation of Directive 2011/36/EU establishing minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the area of trafficking in human beings with a focus on migration and gender perspective. It covers the legal transposition measures at the Member States (MS) level, the practical implementation of the Directive in MS, the positive developments, as well as the challenges encountered. As concluding remarks, the Report provides a number of recommendations to the Commission and the MS for further promoting the implementation of the Directive in the future.Background – the Anti-Trafficking Directive (Directive 2011/36/EU)As the Anti-Trafficking Directive states, trafficking in human beings is a serious crime, often committed within the framework of organised crime, a gross violation of fundamental rights. This Directive, adopted in 2011, brings a holistic, gender-specific and human rights approach to the fight against trafficking in human beings.According to the Directive, trafficking in human beings means: ‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or reception of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception of the abuse of power or of the position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation’ (Article 2(2)).The Directive contains criminal law provisions concerning prosecution of offenders, protection and assistance for victims including upholding their rights in criminal proceedings. It seeks to strengthen the prevention of this crime and prescribes the monitoring of the implementation. It has a strong link to the Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime and recognizes gender-specific phenomenon of trafficking – that women and men are often trafficked for different purposes and for this reason, assistance and support measures should also be gender-specific.The Directive had to be transposed into national law by 6 April 2013 and the Commission reported to the Parliament and Council by 6 April 2015 on Member State compliance with the Directive. Further, the Commission issued its first periodic report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings as required under Article 20 of Directive in 2016, the second one in December 2018, while the third one is to be published in October 2020.From these reports and the reports of other relevant stakeholders, it remains evident that certain obstacles to full implementation remain almost ten years after the Directive’s adoption. This implementation report seeks to identify and highlight these obstacles as well as to offer specific recommendations to the Commission, Member States and other relevant stakeholders as to how to align the practices most effectively in order to overcome the obstacles to the Directive’s full and effective implementation.
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