The trafficking of people, in particular the trafficking of women and children for the sex trade, is one of the most serious challenges to basic human rights in Europe. In the context of increasing awareness of the practice and initiatives to address it, the European Commission has published a proposal for a Directive on short-term residence permits for those who give evidence against their traffickers. The Directive is unlikely to succeed if adopted in its current format because it offers too little to the victims. In particular there are insufficient guarantees concerning a possible right to remain on the territory after legal proceedings have been completed. Consequently, victims are offered insufficient incentive to give evidence, an act that may expose them to further risk from the traffickers or their associates. Some protection may be available under other instruments and these must be taken into account in assessing the position of victims.