The European Union’s objective to constitute an area of freedom, security and justice should be achieved, inter alia, through common measures framing a policy on asylum and immigration, based on solidarity between Member States, which is fair towards third countries and their nationals.
In order to contribute to the development of the common Union policy on asylum and immigration and to the strengthening of the area of freedom, security and justice in the light of the application of the principles of solidarity and responsibility-sharing between the Member States and cooperation with third countries, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) was set up. It aims at supporting actions to contribute to the efficient management of migration flows and the implementation, strengthening and development of a common Union approach to asylum and immigration.
In May 2015 the European Commission adopted the European Agenda on Migration (EAM), which brings together the different steps the European Union should take now, and in the coming years, to build up a coherent and comprehensive approach to reap the benefits and address the challenges deriving from migration. It sets out four levels of action for an EU migration policy which is fair, robust and realistic. When implemented, they will provide the EU with a migration policy which respects the right to seek asylum, responds to the humanitarian challenge, provides a clear European framework for a common migration policy, and stands the test of time: reducing the incentives for irregular migration, border management – saving lives and securing external borders, Europe's duty to protect: a strong common asylum policy, and a new policy on legal migration.
Legal basis of AMIF are the following regulations:
- Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014)
- Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014).
The AMIF Regulation sets out four specific objectives, respectively to:
(i) strengthen and develop all aspects of the Common European Asylum System, including its external dimension;
(ii) support legal migration to the Member States in accordance with their economic and social needs, such as labour market needs, while safeguarding the integrity of
the immigration systems of Member States, and to promote the effective integration of third-country nationals;
(iii) enhance fair and effective return strategies in the Member States which contribute to combating illegal immigration, with an emphasis on sustainability of return and effective readmission in the countries of origin and transit;
(iv) enhance solidarity and responsibility-sharing between the Member States, in particular towards those most affected by migration and asylum flows, including through practical cooperation.
In conformity with Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 Article 6(2), in order to implement the AMIF, the Commission has adopted, on 3 August 2015, the 2015 Annual Work Programme for Union Actions, which includes this Call for Proposals.
Overview of policy context
Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a grave violation of human rights and a serious form of organised crime. As such it is the only form of organised crime expressively prohibited in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The TFEU attributes competence to the EU to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings in the context of developing a common immigration policy and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. As a serious form of crime and a threat to security it often has implications which individual countries cannot effectively address on their own.
Some estimates bring the numbers of people trafficked in the EU every year potentially to hundreds of thousands. Trafficking in human beings takes many different forms and trends change rapidly. It targets women and men, girls and boys in vulnerable positions. Victims are often recruited, transported or harboured by force, coercion or fraud in exploitative conditions, including sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, forced begging, criminal activities, or the removal of organs. Women and men, boys and girls are traded for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation, removal of organs, begging, domestic servitude, forced marriage, illegal adoption as well as other forms of exploitation.
According to the second Eurostat working paper on trafficking in human beings statistics for 2010-2012, there were 30 146 victims registered in EU Member States. 80% of victims are female, and 70% of traffickers are male. 16% of registered victims are children, girls and boys. Data prove that the most widespread form of exploitation is sexual exploitation (69%), of which women and girls are the vast majority of victims (95%). Over 1000 child victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation. Trafficking for labour exploitation constitutes 19% of the reported cases, primarily affecting men and boys (71%), followed by other forms, like trafficking for engaging into criminal activities or for selling of children. The UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Human Beings confirms these findings.
One third of the identified victims in the EU are third-country nationals. Within the context of the migration and asylum processes that the EU is currently facing, those figures are likely to increase. There is an estimated strong link between asylum and migration processes on the one hand, and trafficking in human beings on the other hand. Firstly, migrants and asylum-seekers are often forced to turn to criminal networks, including trafficking networks, to help them leave their homes and reach the EU, so that they may become victims of trafficking already before or during their journey. In all other cases, once reached the EU, they may often have little resources to provide for their needs, so being vulnerable to opportunities offered to them by traffickers. Amongst others, children (in particular unaccompanied children) are a particularly vulnerable category.
The EU Legal Framework: Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims
Directive 2011/36/EU replaces the Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA on combating trafficking in human beings1 and is the first EU legislation on the subject. Apart from approximating substantive criminal law, it takes a zero-tolerance approach towards the traffickers, brings robust provisions on victim's protection and supports the principle of
non-punishment for petty crimes and unconditional assistance. The Directive adopts a strong human-rights approach. It incorporates a strong gender-specific perspective recognizing that women and men are often trafficked for different purposes. It provides that specific assistance, support and protective measures should be available to child victims, with a view to finding durable solutions based on an individual assessment of the best interests of the child. The Directive also emphasises the importance of partnerships, in particular with civil society.
The EU Policy Framework: The EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016)
In June 2012 the Commission adopted the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016), a set of concrete and practical measures to be implemented over the next five years. With this EU Strategy2, the Commission focuses on concrete actions that support and complement the implementation of EU legislation on trafficking (Directive 2011/36/EU - deadline for transposition was April 2013). The strategy includes the prevention of the phenomenon, the protection and support of the victims, as well as the prosecution of the traffickers. It identifies five priorities:
A. Identifying, protecting and assisting victims of trafficking
B. Stepping up the prevention of trafficking in human beings
C. Increased prosecution of traffickers
D. Enhanced coordination and cooperation among key actors and policy coherence
E. Increased knowledge of and effective response to emerging concerns related to all forms of trafficking in human beings.
The aforementioned EU Directive and the Strategy adopt a comprehensive approach that is victim-centred and anchored in human rights. It is gender specific and child sensitive.
Ahead of the Eighth EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October 2014, the European Commission issued the Midterm report on the Implementation of the EU Strategy3, which takes stock of how the EU Strategy has been implemented, from early 2012 to the third quarter of 2014. The report includes work carried out through cooperation between EU institutions, EU agencies and bodies, Member States, civil society organisations and the private sector. It covers action taken within the EU and in cooperation with non-EU countries of origin, transit and destination.
2. PRIORITIES OF THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The present Call for Proposals aims at funding projects addressing all forms of trafficking in human beings, in particular the integration and the safe and sustainable return of victims of trafficking in human beings, both within the context of durable solutions as per the legal requirement of the Directive 2011/36/EU.
Project applications submitted under the present Call for Proposals must address at least one of the following priorities:
Initiatives aiming at enabling the integration in the host society of victims of trafficking in human beings.
Initiatives aiming at promoting the safe and sustainable voluntary return to their countries of origin of victims of trafficking in human beings, including actions to minimize risks of re-trafficking and re-victimisation, in full respect of the fundamental rights of the victims of trafficking.
In the context of the above-mentioned main priorities, the project applications should also address at least one of the following sub-priorities:
1. Early identification and protection of children victims of trafficking and unaccompanied children at risk of trafficking in the context of the current asylum and migration processes;
2. Identification and protection of adults victims of trafficking for all forms of exploitation in high-risk sectors (such as, for example, agriculture, fisheries, construction, textile, sex industry, domestic work) in the context of the current asylum and migration processes.
aim at the development of a multi-stakeholder approach for the early identification and protection of victims of all forms of trafficking, in the context of the current migration and asylum processes. To this aim, the proposals should preferably involve the cooperation of different stakeholders (both governmental and non-governmental – such as migration, asylum, and law enforcement agencies, and service providers) dealing with the registration and accommodation of migrants and refugees, with the aim to allow for early and proper identification of victims of trafficking and prevent for them the risk of entering into contacts with traffickers. In this respect, the objective of the Call is to support activities implemented directly by governmental and non- governmental authorities working directly on the ground with victims of trafficking;
where the proposals concern any potential ethical or child protection issues, applicants are required to provide a clear description of child protection policies in place for any project activities that involve interactions with children. Proposals, in particular including children, should promote an integrated child protection system approach. For
more details see: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/fundamental- rights/files/2015_forum_roc_background_en.pdf;
take a victim-centred and gender specific approach where possible;
include a clear sustainability plan to ensure that the results of the project are useful in
the long-term and after the end of the funding.
Creating appropriate links with countries of origin of victims is not excluded.
Any actions under this Call for Proposals shall respect and shall be implemented in line with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Applications should pay appropriate attention to the effects of the project on individual rights and freedoms, as well as to possible remedies. In addition, any action under this Call for Proposals should comply with all relevant ethical principles and all applicable international, EU and national law on ethical issues while carrying out the project.