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New EU Migration Pact increases risks of human trafficking

Document number
18 October 2020
New EU Migration Pact increases risks of human trafficking
La Strada International
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Document type(s)
LSI publication,
migrant asylum pact risks of human trafficking exploitation return detention migration

On the occasion of 18 October, the European Day against human trafficking, La Strada International - European NGO Platform against trafficking in human beings - member of PICUM - calls for enhanced pathways and rights for asylum seekers and migrants, including better protection of migrant workers to prevent human trafficking.  

On 23 September 2020, the European Commission adopted and published its long-awaited new Pact on Migration and Asylum. While this Pact aims to improve European cooperation on migration and asylum and provide ‘certainty, clarity and decent conditions for the men, women and children arriving in the EU’, La Strada International is concerned that the Pact will instead increase the risks of exploitation and human trafficking, as well as violations of exploited and trafficked persons’ rights.  

The Pact recognizes that migration is of all times and that ‘a system should be built that manages and normalises migration for the long term and which is fully grounded in European values and international law’. However, the main focus of the  Pact is put on restricting possibilities for people to access residence status, increasing detention and facilitating immediate return of those that have been denied asylum, and removing essential legal safeguards and support, in conflict with international human rights obligations. While some measures are put forward in the areas of labour migration and integration, they are outshined by the focus on return.