2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, known as the Palermo Protocol. It is then worth to evaluate which efforts have been carried out in order to prevent trafficking, but also the consequences of it. The report Anti-smuggling and Anti-trafficking Measures: Are they compatible with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights? (Delmi 2020:4) examines the compatibility of the EU measures against human smuggling and human trafficking with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The measures, which are part of the EU’s externalisation and outsourcing of migration control to third countries, are not new. However, since 2016 the EU has been prioritising these forms of controls by providing incentives for third countries to restrict the movement of migrants.
The containment of people in third countries and preventing people from leaving, interfere with the right to asylum, including the right to leave to seek asylum. The measures that interfere with this right must also pursue legitimate objectives in order to be permissible, e.g. saving lives.
The report concludes that the EU and its Member States might have failed to fulfil their positive obligations to ensure the right to life. It also concludes that the EU and its Member States might be in violation of the right to leave to seek asylum.
The report is written by Dr. Vladislava Stoyanova, Associate Professor at Lund University.
Picture by Alex Ivashenko from Unsplash.