Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (193)

Joe McHugh


193. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will update Dáil Éireann on European Council dialogue in respect of trafficking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32541/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The issue of human trafficking and the rights of victims of this abhorrent crime was a focus of discussions at the European Council during the Irish Presidency. The discussions centred on the Commission publication in April 2013 of a document entitled 'The EU rights of victims of trafficking in human beings' as provided for by Priority A, Action 4 of the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012 - 2016). This document does not provide for the establishment of any new rights under EU law. Its purpose is to ensure that the rights of victims that already exist are set out clearly and, insofar as possible, in simple language that could be understood by a victim. It also provides for the first time in a single document all of the relevant EU legislation with an overview in simple language.

The European Council adopted Council Conclusions at its Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council meeting in June 2013 welcoming the Commission publication and inviting Member States to: Take into consideration and utilise the Commission document 'The EU rights of victims of trafficking in human beings' for the purpose of drawing up or, if necessary, amending Member State specific document(s). Such document(s) should provide clear, user-friendly information on labour, social, victim and migrant rights that victims of trafficking in human beings have under EU law in their jurisdiction with special attention being given to child victims; supplement the information on the labour, social, victim and migrant rights that victims of trafficking in human beings have under EU law with any other rights of victims of human trafficking that exist under the domestic law in their jurisdiction, in/when drawing up such document(s); ensure, as far as possible, where the information is to be provided in more than one document, that such documents are collated into a single dossier to facilitate victims' easy access to comprehensive information on their rights; ensure that such document(s) outline(s) in a clear and user-friendly manner how such rights can be exercised by victims in their jurisdiction; disseminate such document(s) to all relevant actors that work with victims of human trafficking in their jurisdiction (e.g. police, border guards, immigration and asylum officials, health and social work professionals, Non-Governmental Organisations, etc.); utilise such Member State specific document(s) in training to all relevant actors working in combating trafficking in human beings to ensure a human rights' perspective; satisfy themselves that the objective of these Council Conclusions have been met by June 2014.