EU agreement on laws against human trafficking, including exploitation of surrogacy

Negotiators give green light to the revision of the rules: the scope of the directive will be expanded to also include forced marriage and illegal adoption

The negotiators of European Parliament and of the Council they reached last night a agreement to review the rules on preventing and combating human trafficking. The agreement, explains the Chamber, will broaden the scope of the current directive to include forced marriage, illegal adoption, “surrogacy exploitation” (not surrogacy as suchbut the exploitation of the same in a context of human trafficking) and a better support for victims. The rules should, among other things, ensure that authorities coordinate their activities so that victims of trafficking, who also require international protection, receive adequate support and protection and that their right to asylum is respected; criminalize the use of services provided by a victim of a human trafficking crime, when the user knows that the victim is being exploited, to reduce the demand that drives the exploitation.

They will be introduced sanctions for companies convicted of trafficking, including exclusion from tenders and reimbursement of public aid or subsidies; the rules will ensure that prosecutors can choose not to prosecute victims for criminal acts they were forced to commit and that they receive support regardless of whether they cooperate with the investigation; ensure support for victims using a gender-, disability- and child-sensitive approach; they will guarantee the rights of people with disabilities and adequate support, with the appointment of guardians or representatives, for unaccompanied minors; will allow the judges to consider the non-consensual dissemination of sexual images or videos as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

For theSpanish MEP of the Left Eugenia Rodríguez Palop“as Parliament we had an ambitious position and the Council showed itself open to dialogue, with the initial push from the Spanish Presidency. We all had to give in, but the result is good. We introduced, among other things, the exploitation of surrogacy , improved prevention, strengthened investigations and prosecutions, as well as coordination and monitoring, and included measures to better protect, assist and support all victims. Today we are a little closer to putting an end to this form of barbarity.” .