The German NGO Network against Trafficking in Human Beings, KOK has published a new study on the rights of trafficked persons during criminal proceedings in Germany. From October 2019 to April 2021, KOK carried out a project examining the newly introduced criminal offences relating to trafficking in human beings and their tangible impact on criminal proceedings.
The study analyses the implementation of Directive 2011/36/EU in 2016 in Germany from a human rights perspective and provides insights in systematic gaps. Interviews with staff members of specialised counselling centres, lawyers and prosecutors prove that the enforcement of the rights of trafficked persons in criminal proceedings finds little consideration.
In the report, KOK stresses that it is essential to always examine the question of criminal proceedings and to what extent trafficked persons can be required to be available to public authorities for prosecution purposes, taking into account that the interests of affected persons, might differ from public interests.
The network further stresses that compliance with human rights requirements must not be forgotten once criminal proceedings are over, whether after investigations, hearings or once the sentence is served. It is therefore crucial that rights afforded by the Directive are enforced at any time, instead of being limited to the duration of criminal proceedings.