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Veranstaltung |

At the intersection of smuggling and trafficking

the European response to the vanishing of human beings



In Europe and worldwide, people disappear on a daily basis. Some end up in situations of forced labour. Some are killed for organ trafficking. Others disappear because they choose to do so. Some are being looked for by relatives and friends, others vanish altogether. The legal status of each and every person that disappears from the surface of our society depends on a large number of factors. The 2000 UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime clearly distinguishes, via two separate Protocols, between trafficking in persons on the one hand, smuggling of migrants on the other ‒ defining the presence of exploitation as decisive factor of distinction. People in the first category are given the status of victims, with all legal consequences thereof. People in the second category, by contrast, are not entitled to any victim protection. On the contrary, smuggled people are understood to be criminals themselves, having committed an offence against the ever more restrictive EU border control regime. Both issues, as well as their interrelation, raise a large number of questions. What does the EU do to combat trafficking in persons, and to assist the victims? What does it undertake to fight organized criminal groups in smuggling? Are the rights of those smuggled respected, or do EU policies against smugglers further complicate the legal situation of those affected? Which reforms need to be envisaged on a European level? And what kind of help can relatives and friends expect when they are looking for someone? Together with a number of renowned experts, both from European institutions and international civil society, we would like to discuss these and other questions.


  • Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, European Commission
  • Andrea Hastynkova, EUROPOL
  • Frederic Kurz, GRETA committee, Council of Europe
  • Maria Velizarova, LEFÖ
  • Bärbel Uhl, KOK
  • Regine Schönenberg, independent researcher and author
  • Marieke van Doorninck, La Strada International
  • Eve Geddie, PICUM
  • Jutta Hermanns, GRC-Headoffice, Tracing Service


Introductory statement
by Barbara Lochbihler, Chair of the Human Rights Subcommitte of the European Parliament Expert debate on the situation of victims of human trafficking in the EU. Moderation: Ulrike Lunacek, Member of the European Parliament Open debate and question time. Expert debate on the situation of smuggled migrants and refugees in the EU.
Moderation: Judith Sargentini, Member of the European Parliament Open debate and question time. Final discussion with all experts and closing remarks 
by Jean-Jacob Bicep, Member of the European Parliament  ______________________________ This conference is organised by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament: Barbara Lochbihler, Ulrike Lunacek, Judith Sargentini and Jean-Jacob Bicep  Interpretation into English, German and French provided

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Zuständige Abgeordnete

Barbara Lochbihler
Barbara Lochbihler
Die Grünen/EFA im Europäischen Parlament
Ulrike Lunacek
Ulrike Lunacek
Vize Präsidentin des Europäischen Parlaments für die Fraktion
Judith Sargentini
Judith Sargentini
Die Grünen/EFA im Europäischen Parlament