The European Union welcomes the work of the Special Rapporteur.
Combatting trafficking in persons has been a long-standing priority for the European Union. The EU remains committed to promoting a human rights-based, gender- and age-responsive approach, and to protecting, supporting and empowering victims, especially women and children, who are the main victims. It is one of the four key priorities of the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings 2021-2025.
We thank the Special Rapporteur for her report and acknowledge the importance of addressing trafficking, particularly in high-risk sectors, such as in agriculture. We are particularly concerned about child labor, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. We also stress the importance to reflect on the nexus between trafficking in persons and the climate crisis and the need to include a strong gender dimension in all efforts to supporting and empowering victims of trafficking. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is still one of the most frequent forms of exploitation.
Responsible management of global supply chains and human rights due diligence play an important role in addressing trafficking in persons for the purpose of labor exploitation, also in the agricultural sector. The EU is strongly committed to promoting the respect for human rights in the context of business activities also with the proposed directive on corporate sustainability due diligence which aims at anchoring human rights and environmental considerations in business operations. The ongoing evaluation of the Anti-trafficking Directive aims to update the EU legal framework to ensure efficiency in addressing the current challenges.
Madam Special Rapporteur,
What are best practices on how to enhance child protection systems against trafficking of children in the agricultural sector and bring children back to schools?