European Policy Brief: The Security Sector Role In Addressing The Demand-Side Of Human Trafficking

European Policy Brief: The Security Sector Role In Addressing The Demand-Side Of Human Trafficking

Though not a new phenomenon, trafficking in human beings (THB) has considerably increased over the last thirty years. Every year, thousands of persons are being trafficked within, from and to Europe. Hence, addressing THB has grown as a focus in EU countries since the Anti-Trafficking Directive 2011/36/EU reorganized the coordination strategies against trafficking into a comprehensive approach. However, there are arguments that concentrating crime-curbing efforts on investigating, disrupting and prosecuting criminals does not produce sustainable or impactful results.

This policy brief analyses the usage and relevance of approaches to demand within the security sector through the experiences of four European countries: the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The analysis confirmed the absence of a clear definition of the term ‘demand’ and demand-side measures in security sectors’ legal frameworks, mandates and strategies. The subsequent lack of understanding of demand amongst security sector actors has consequences for their role and actions in demand-side measures. The policy brief, thus, recommends enhancing security sector capabilities through a two-pronged policy approach, covering the main components through which the security sector works.