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Incentive and exchange programme for persons responsible for combating trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children (STOP)

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1) OBJECTIVE

To establish a programme for exchanging information between member States on trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children.

2) ACT

Joint action 96/700/JHA, of 29 November 1996, adopted by the Council pursuant to Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, establishing an incentive and exchange programme for persons responsible for combating trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children [Official Journal L 322, 12.12.1996].

3) SUMMARY

The object of the joint action for the period 1996 - 2000 now under way is to establish a programme to develop coordinated initiatives on the combating of trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children, on disappearances of minors and on the use of telecommunications facilities for the purposes of trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children.

For the purposes of this joint action, "persons responsible for combating trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children" shall mean the following categories of persons inasmuch as they have responsibilities in the area concerned: judges, public prosecutors, police departments, civil servants, public services concerned with immigration and border controls and with social and tax legislation, the prevention or combating of such phenomena and assisting the victims or dealing with the perpetrators.

The programme shall provide for measures in the following fields:

  • training,
  • exchange programmes and training courses,
  • the holding of multidisciplinary meetings and seminars,
  • studies and research,
  • dissemination of information.

The Commission shall be responsible for implementing the measures provided for in this joint action and shall adopt the detailed procedures for applying it, including the eligibility criteria for costs.

The Commission shall, with the assistance of experts from the professional circles concerned, establish a draft annual programme for implementing this joint action as regards specific priorities and the allocation of the appropriations available amongst fields of action. The Commission shall each year evaluate the measures for implementing the programme during the previous year.

The Commission shall be assisted by a committee consisting of one representative from each Member State and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The Commission shall report anually to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the programme. The first report shall be forwarded at the end of the 1996 financial year.

For further information on the second phase of the programme see " STOP II ".

4) IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

Annual programme for 1999 - Official Journal C 12, 16.01.1999
Annual programme for 2000
- Official Journal C 355, 08.12.1999
It lays out the annual priorities regarding the implementation of the programme on the one hand and supplies general and practical information to applicants seeking finance to initiate projects on the other.

5) FOLLOW-UP WORK

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