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Victims of trafficking in hotspots

21-02-2019

This briefing looks at the risks of exploitation faced by people leaving their countries in search of safety or better lives and arriving in Europe by sea. It gives an overview of the processes related to early identification of victims of trafficking in first reception facilities (hotspots) and the related challenges.

This briefing looks at the risks of exploitation faced by people leaving their countries in search of safety or better lives and arriving in Europe by sea. It gives an overview of the processes related to early identification of victims of trafficking in first reception facilities (hotspots) and the related challenges.

Contemporary forms of slavery

20-12-2018

This briefing aims to clarify the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and analyse the legal obligations of States, as well as recent international developments at global and EU levels. It highlights the inconsistent application of the concept by global governance actors and discusses the inclusion of various exploitative practices within this conceptual framework. It also examines the prevalence of contemporary forms of slavery and assesses the policy framework for EU external action. The briefing ...

This briefing aims to clarify the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and analyse the legal obligations of States, as well as recent international developments at global and EU levels. It highlights the inconsistent application of the concept by global governance actors and discusses the inclusion of various exploitative practices within this conceptual framework. It also examines the prevalence of contemporary forms of slavery and assesses the policy framework for EU external action. The briefing then recommends possible action by the EU, including: promotion of a more consistent definition and use of the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and further clarifications on the relationship with the human trafficking and forced labour frameworks; a role for the EU as catalyst in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in the field of all contemporary forms of slavery; support for standardising methods of data collection globally. Finally, the paper invites the EU to assess the possibility of drafting a new treaty on contemporary forms of slavery, as a way to fill some existing loopholes at the international level.

Външен автор

Silvia SCARPA

Human rights in EU trade policy: Unilateral measures applied by the EU

30-05-2018

Protection of human rights is one of the EU's overarching objectives in its external action, in line with the Treaty on European Union. One of the EU's main tools to promote human rights in third countries is the generalised system of preferences (GSP), granting certain developing countries preferential trade access to the EU market. Covering 90 third countries, the scheme includes explicit human rights conditionality, providing that preferences can be withdrawn in case of massive and systematic ...

Protection of human rights is one of the EU's overarching objectives in its external action, in line with the Treaty on European Union. One of the EU's main tools to promote human rights in third countries is the generalised system of preferences (GSP), granting certain developing countries preferential trade access to the EU market. Covering 90 third countries, the scheme includes explicit human rights conditionality, providing that preferences can be withdrawn in case of massive and systematic violations of core human rights or labour rights norms. A special incentive arrangement under the GSP grants further tariff concessions to countries that ratify and implement a series of international conventions. Based on systematic monitoring by the European Commission, this special scheme is the most comprehensive and detailed human rights mechanism established in the framework of the common commercial policy. While the scheme has been particularly effective in encouraging beneficiary countries to make the necessary legislative and institutional changes, such progress has not been matched at the level of implementation. Suspension of preferences under GSP has been applied in only a few cases and, when it was, did not have an immediate and clear impact on the human rights situation. In practice, the EU has privileged a strategy of incentivising gradual progress through dialogue and monitoring, rather than withdrawing preferences. The EU's unilateral trade measures to protect human rights are not limited to the GSP. The EU has taken steps to prohibit or limit trade in items that could cause human rights violations, such as torture and execution equipment, and dual use goods. New legislation has recently been adopted on conflict minerals, and the European Parliament has called for a proposal for legislation to ban the import of goods produced using child labour. This is an updated edition of a briefing published in January 2017: PE 595.878.

The vulnerability of women migrant workers in agriculture and the EU: the need for a Human Rights and Gender based approach

14-05-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, explores the working conditions of migrant women in agriculture in the EU, focusing on some case studies in Italy and Spain. In particular, it aims to examine the factors that render women vulnerable to exploitation, paying attention to gendered dynamics and power relations. The study contends that to prevent ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, explores the working conditions of migrant women in agriculture in the EU, focusing on some case studies in Italy and Spain. In particular, it aims to examine the factors that render women vulnerable to exploitation, paying attention to gendered dynamics and power relations. The study contends that to prevent and combat exploitation in agriculture it is necessary to implement concerted actions aimed at tackling, from a human rights and gender perspective, the structural factors of a socio-economic system which fosters and relies on workers’ vulnerability.

State of Play of EU-Mauritania Relations

23-02-2017

Mauritania, an important ally of the EU in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, faces several inter-related development challenges: ensuring an efficient use of the revenue derived from natural resources, economic diversification and improved governance. The severity of these development challenges is increased by difficult political relations between the three main ethnic groups in the country, the dominant group being the Arab-Berber Bidhan. They constitute less than one-third of the country ...

Mauritania, an important ally of the EU in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, faces several inter-related development challenges: ensuring an efficient use of the revenue derived from natural resources, economic diversification and improved governance. The severity of these development challenges is increased by difficult political relations between the three main ethnic groups in the country, the dominant group being the Arab-Berber Bidhan. They constitute less than one-third of the country’s population, but dominate economically and politically. The Haratin, the largest group in the country, is made up of descendants of black Africans enslaved by the Bidhan (freed or still enslaved). The third group in the country is the West Africans or Black Mauritanians. Mauritania’s post-independence history is marked by repeated attempts by this group to assert its non-Arab identity and claim for a more equitable share of political and economic power. The tension that these divisions create is a problem in itself, but they can also be appropriated by violent Islamist insurgencies in the region. The urgency of this challenge is further complicated by the likelihood of increased climate change effects that the country is currently not adequately prepared for. This study therefore discusses the main political, economic and development challenges that contemporary Mauritania is faced with, illustrating how these challenges can only be properly grasped with consideration to their historical evolution. Based on this, the study investigates the current basis for EU-Mauritania relations and suggests a select number of policy areas for consideration, as this relationship continues to evolve around issues of mutual concern such as security and development.

Human rights in EU trade policy: Unilateral measures

12-01-2017

Protection of human rights is one of the EU's overarching objectives in its external action, in line with the Treaty on European Union. One of the EU's main tools to promote human rights in third countries is the generalised system of preferences (GSP), granting certain developing countries preferential trade access to the EU market. Covering 90 third countries, the scheme includes explicit human rights conditionality, providing that preferences can be withdrawn in case of massive and systematic ...

Protection of human rights is one of the EU's overarching objectives in its external action, in line with the Treaty on European Union. One of the EU's main tools to promote human rights in third countries is the generalised system of preferences (GSP), granting certain developing countries preferential trade access to the EU market. Covering 90 third countries, the scheme includes explicit human rights conditionality, providing that preferences can be withdrawn in case of massive and systematic violations of core human rights or labour rights norms. A special incentive arrangement grants further tariff concessions to countries that ratify and implement a series of international conventions. Based on systematic monitoring by the European Commission, this is the most comprehensive and detailed human rights mechanism established in the framework of EU common commercial policy. In practice, the EU has privileged a strategy of incentivising gradual progress through dialogue and monitoring, rather than withdrawing preferences. Suspension of preferences under GSP is rarely applied and, when it is, it does not have an immediate and clear impact. The EU's unilateral trade measures to protect human rights are not limited to the GSP. The EU has taken steps to prohibit or limit trade in items that could cause human rights violations, such as torture and execution items, or dual use goods. New legislation is being considered on conflict minerals, and the European Parliament has asked for a proposal for legislation to ban the import of goods produced using child labour. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

06-01-2017

This study reviews the progress of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in non-EU countries, five years after their unanimous adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011. Much progress has already been achieved, with i.a. relevant key international standards like OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises becoming aligned with the UNGPs, new tools being developed to provide guidance to governments and stakeholders and a basis being set ...

This study reviews the progress of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in non-EU countries, five years after their unanimous adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011. Much progress has already been achieved, with i.a. relevant key international standards like OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises becoming aligned with the UNGPs, new tools being developed to provide guidance to governments and stakeholders and a basis being set for constructive discussion. This led to increased awareness and better understanding, building trust and engagement among various stakeholders. Yet, despite all efforts, business-related human rights abuse is still a serious problem. Further implementation of the UNGPs and related instruments is thus necessary, with special emphasis needed on access to remedy and justice for victims of business-related abuses. Less declaration and more real political will is needed, as states’ commitments to develop National Action Plans implementing the Guiding Principles have been far too slow to materialise, with only twelve NAPs being launched to date. Yet, the number of ongoing processes is promising, particularly in South America, although we have yet to see how meaningful and future action oriented their outcomes will be.

Външен автор

Beata FARACIK, Human Rights Expert, President of the Board, Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business, Poland

The Yazidis: An ongoing genocide

09-12-2016

The award of the 2016 Sakharov Prize to Nadia Murad Basee Taha and Lamiya Aji Bashar highlights the fate of their people, the Yazidis, one of the communities most affected, in proportion to their total population, by the violence committed by ISIL/Da'esh (or ‘Islamic State’).

The award of the 2016 Sakharov Prize to Nadia Murad Basee Taha and Lamiya Aji Bashar highlights the fate of their people, the Yazidis, one of the communities most affected, in proportion to their total population, by the violence committed by ISIL/Da'esh (or ‘Islamic State’).

Implementation of the Directive on Human Trafficking from a gender perspective

02-05-2016

In 2011, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings (THB) and protecting its victims. The European Commission was required to report to the Parliament and Council by 6 April 2015 on Member State compliance with the Directive, which had to be transposed into national law by 6 April 2013. At its May plenary session the Parliament will vote on an own-initiative report on implementation of the Directive from a gender perspective ...

In 2011, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings (THB) and protecting its victims. The European Commission was required to report to the Parliament and Council by 6 April 2015 on Member State compliance with the Directive, which had to be transposed into national law by 6 April 2013. At its May plenary session the Parliament will vote on an own-initiative report on implementation of the Directive from a gender perspective.

The gender dimension of human trafficking

08-02-2016

Human trafficking is a serious crime and a violation of human rights. It is on the rise due to increasing mobility, the development of new technologies and the generally low risks and high profit involved. Data on the prevalence of this crime show that the majority of its victims are women and girls. Sexual exploitation is by far the first purpose of trafficking in women. Most trafficked women are forced into commercial sexual services while many are also victims of domestic servitude. There are ...

Human trafficking is a serious crime and a violation of human rights. It is on the rise due to increasing mobility, the development of new technologies and the generally low risks and high profit involved. Data on the prevalence of this crime show that the majority of its victims are women and girls. Sexual exploitation is by far the first purpose of trafficking in women. Most trafficked women are forced into commercial sexual services while many are also victims of domestic servitude. There are several factors which contribute to trafficking in women. Their vulnerability, especially as a consequence of violence, and the demand for their sexual services are two leading factors which have received increased attention in recent years. Tackling this demand requires addressing prostitution. EU Member States have adopted different approaches to this phenomenon, ranging from criminalisation of all activities related to prostitution to regulation. Traffickers operate via various channels of recruitment which involve coercion, force or deception. They usually exploit the poor economic situation of women searching for a better life abroad. The internet and new technologies play an important role, as does migrant smuggling. The EU has adopted key instruments to tackle trafficking in human beings. They are based on a victim-centred approach and recognise that support and protection of victims, as well as prevention should be gender-specific. The European Parliament plays an important part in shaping EU policies in the field.

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