The European Parliament today approved the revision of anti-trafficking legislation, including forced marriage, illegal adoption and the exploitation of surrogacy as criminal offenses in the EU.

MEPs adopted by a large majority the new regulation that expands the scope of existing measures to prevent human trafficking and better support its victims, with 563 votes in favor, 7 against and 17 abstentions.

In addition to labor and sexual exploitation, the new legislation criminalises forced marriages, illegal adoption and the exploitation of surrogacy at EU level. It also criminalises the use of services provided by a victim of human trafficking, when the user knows that the victim is being targeted exploitation, while penalties are established for companies convicted of human trafficking.

The report’s rapporteur Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (Left, Spain) said: “Twelve years after the adoption of the directive, MEPs have had to revise EU rules as human trafficking has become more complex and the resources available to us remain rudimentary.”

Co-rapporteur Malin Björk (Left, Sweden) said: “New forms of exploitation will be criminalized and the rights of victims, including migrants and asylum seekers, will be improved. »

Now the Council must formally approve the agreement. The directive will enter into force twenty days after its publication in the EU’s Official Journal, and member states have two years to implement its provisions.