The Hague, 1 July 2011
On 28 June, Eurojust hosted a visit by Ms Myria Vassiliadou, European Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, European Commission, and Mr Gert Bogers, Seconded National Expert in Human Trafficking, European Commission, DG Home Affairs.
Ms Vassiliadou, from Cyprus, is the European Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, appointed by the European Commission on 14 December 2010. Ms Vassiliadou works on an overall strategic and policy orientation in the field of THB. Her role is to improve coordination and coherence between EU institutions, agencies, Member States and international actors. She contributes to the elaboration of new and existing EU policies relevant to the fight against THB, particularly in relation to third States. By bringing together prevention, law enforcement, and victim protection, she ensures that all appropriate means for EU action against trafficking are mobilised.
During her visit to Eurojust, Ms Vassiliadou met with the President and College of Eurojust and Mr Ola Laurell, National Member for Sweden and Chair of the Eurojust Trafficking and Related Crimes Team. Attending the College plenary meeting, she made a presentation on her objectives and gave the National Members the opportunity to raise questions. Ms Vassiliadou was then received by the Eurojust Trafficking and Related Crimes Team and was introduced to its activities and achievements.
Yearly, Eurojust deals with over 80 THB cases. THB investigations are complicated, expensive and resource-demanding. Worldwide, 79 per cent of victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation, 66 per cent of trafficking victims are women, and 13 per cent are girls. More means are needed to tackle this phenomenon. The Trafficking and Related Crimes Team at Eurojust is composed of Eurojust experts on the subject. Its mission is to offer expertise in THB and drug trafficking linked to organised crime. It supports and monitors the EU legislative and policy process and develops a closer relationship with EU institutions and international organisations. The Trafficking and Related Crimes Team also assesses and improves the regular reporting tools for Eurojust casework in this field and thus enhances and supports the work of Mr Laurell as Contact Point for Child Protection. An important meeting will be held at Eurojust on travelling child sex offenders in September.
Ms Vassiliadou stated: “One of the main reasons for my visit is to convey the message that partnerships at European level are extremely important. Eurojust is a key player in that respect and I wanted to hear about the ways in which this collaboration could best work. It was a pleasure to hear more about the important work of Eurojust on THB and to update the Eurojust National Members on what the Commission is doing and what has been done at EU level in relation to THB. The Commission will launch a Communication in 2012 on THB. I would like to see prevention, prosecution and protection of victims contained in it. Eurojust has a strong voice related to these issues and can help to convey them in the Communication.”
At the end of the visit, Mr Laurell commented: “We were very pleased to welcome Ms Vassiliadou, who showed considerable interest in Eurojust and demonstrated a clear vision of how to combat trafficking at EU level. The Eurojust Trafficking Team highly appreciates her efforts.”
Photos of this visit are available from Eurojust’s Press & PR Service.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Joannes THUY, Spokesperson - Head of Press & PR Service
EUROJUST, Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, the Netherlands
Tel +31 70 412 5508