The EU Directive on Trafficking in Human Beings - A Joint UN Commentary

29 December 2011

Working together six United Nations agencies (UNODC, UNHCR, OHCHR, UNICEF, ILO and UN Women) have published a commentary on selected articles of the EU Directive 2011/36/EU.

Over the past decade, the European Union has stepped up its efforts to fight human trafficking strengthening its focus on prevention and protection of victims. The adoption of the 2011 Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, replacing Council Framework Decision, is the most recent sign of the continued commitment of the European Union in this field. The Directive represents a critical step in addressing human trafficking comprehensively.

The joint UN Commentary on the Directive aims to support the efforts of EU Member States to transpose the Directive into national legislation, and provides practical guidance on the implementation of the EU instrument, ensuring that human rights are mainstreamed.

The Commentary is grounded in a comprehensive approach, acknowledging that trafficking is both a crime and a human rights violation and that the State has primary responsibility to respect, protect and promote the rights of all trafficked persons regardless of their country of origin. It puts human rights at the centre of all the efforts, including when dealing with criminal matters.

The commentary on selected provisions of the Directive is complemented by boxes with the relevant international standards and examples of good practice also provide a series of concrete recommendations to EU Member States.


Prevent. Combat. Protect - Human Trafficking - Joint UN Commentary (2011)

EU Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking

Related Information:

International Framework for Action to Implement the Trafficking in Persons Protocol

UNODC Model Law against Smuggling of Migrants


UNODC Tools and Publications

UNODC and Trafficking in Persons

UNODC News and Events

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