A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out an evaluation visit to Serbia from 6 to 10 March 2017. The visit provided an opportunity to assess developments in the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings since the first evaluation by GRETA in 2013 (link to GRETA’s first report on Serbia).
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met Mr Zoran Lazarov, Assistant Minister of the Interior, as well as officials from the Organised Crime Department and the Office of Asylum under the Ministry of the Interior, the Centre for the Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings under the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Issues, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Office for Human and Minority Rights, the Office for co-operation with civil society and the Commissariat for Refugees. Further, the GRETA delegation met a representative of the National Assembly of Serbia (Parliament) and a judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation.
Separate meetings were held with representatives of non-governmental organisations and lawyers. The GRETA delegation also met officials from the local offices of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation met members of the regional anti-trafficking network in Sremska Mitrovica and visited a shelter for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking located there. Further, GRETA visited two reception centres for refugees and asylum seekers, located respectively in Adaševci and Šid.
The visit was carried out by Mr Jan van Dijk, First Vice-President of GRETA ad interim, and Ms Rita Theodorou Superman, member of GRETA, who were accompanied by Mr David Dolidze of the Secretariat of the Convention.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report which will be sent to the Serbian authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be made public.