On December 19, 2022, the EU Commission proposed to strengthen the rules that prevent and combat trafficking in human beings.
The updated rules will provide stronger tools for law enforcement and judicial authorities to investigate and prosecute new forms of exploitation. For example, by making sure that knowingly using the services provided by victims of trafficking constitutes a criminal offence.
The Commission’s proposal put forward mandatory sanctions against companies for trafficking offences and not only individuals. It also aims to improve procedures for early identification and support for victims in Member States, particularly through the creation of a European Referral Mechanism.
It is now up to the European Parliament and the Council to examine the proposal. Once adopted, Member States will have to transpose the new rules into their national law.