|Council of Europe Convention|
|Committee of the Parties|
|Country monitoring work|
|GRETA Restricted access|
|Committee of the Parties Restricted access|
EG/ATH (2000) 5
Strasbourg, 8 November 2000
2.2. Presentations by Keynote speakers and Rapporteurs of the working groups
3.1 NATIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS
3.2 ELEMENTS FOR A REGIONAL PLAN OF ACTION
5. ASSESSMENT BY PARTICIPANTS
Appendix 1 -LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Appendix 2 -Programme of the seminar
Appendix 3 - Recommendation No. R (2000) 11 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation
Appendix 5 - SUMMARY OF REPLIES TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE BY THEMATIC ISSUES
The Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is a political organisation which was founded on 5 May 1949 by ten European countries in order to promote greater unity between its members. It now numbers 41 European states.1
The main aims of the Organisation are to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and to develop common responses to political, social, cultural and legal challenges in its member states. Since 1989 it has integrated most of the countries of central and eastern Europe and supported them in their efforts to implement and consolidate their political, legal and administrative reforms.
The Council of Europe has its permanent headquarters in Strasbourg (France). By Statute, it has two constituent organs: the Committee of Ministers, composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 41 member States, and the Parliamentary Assembly, comprising delegations from the 41 national parliaments. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe represents the entities of local and regional self-government within the member States.
The European Court of Human Rights is the judicial body competent to adjudicate complaints brought against a state by individuals, associations or other contracting states on grounds of violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Council of Europe and equality between women and men
The consideration of equality between women and men, seen as a fundamental human right, is the responsibility of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG). The experts who form the Committee (one from each member State) are entrusted with the task of stimulating action at the national level, as well as within the Council of Europe, to achieve effective equality between women and men. To this end, the CDEG carries out analyses, studies and evaluations, defines strategies and political measures, and, where necessary, frames the appropriate legal instruments.
For further information on activities concerning equality between women and men, contact:
Division Equality between Women and Men
Directorate General of Human Rights
Council of Europe
67075 STRASBOURG CEDEX
Tel: +33 3 88 41 23 39
Fax: +33 3 90 21 49 18
Background and purpose
The Council of Europe, and in particular its Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG), has undertaken a series of activities against trafficking over the past ten years. As a result of this work, the Committee of Ministers adopted, on 19 May 2000, Recommendation No. R (2000) 11 to member States on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, prepared by the CDEG.
The International Seminar held in Athens was organised in order to ensure immediate follow-up to the adoption of this text, with special focus on South-East Europe. The text was used as the framework of reference during the seminar to prepare recommendations.
The aim of the seminar was to determine action to be taken at national and regional levels against trafficking in human beings in South-East Europe.
On the first and second days of the seminar, the three main issues (prevention, assistance and protection of victims, legal action) were presented by the keynote speakers and afterwards discussed and analysed by the three working groups, one on each theme. One member of the Secretariat (moderator) and two or three facilitators assisted the working groups.
Each participant was asked to prepare a set of recommendations for his/her own country on the theme chosen. National delegations then met separately in order to put together the results and constitute a full set of recommendations for their respective countries.
On the last day, national delegations presented their recommendations in the plenary session. Regional recommendations were also prepared and presented.
Following opening speeches by Greek officials and by various members of international organisations present, six rapporteurs presented the main issues:
· Prevention, including awareness-raising and information, and long-term action in the economic and social field (Presentation by Ms Elisa Tsakiri, Public Information Campaign Specialist, IOM and Ms Julie Bindel, Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit, University of North London).
· Assistance and protection of victims, evaluation and perspective of the Bosnian experience through obstacles encountered and results obtained (Presentation by Ms Madeleine Rees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and by Ms Mara Radovanovic, Women's organisation "Lara", Bosnia and Herzegovina).
· Legal action, including penal legislation and judicial co-operation (Presentations by Mr Paul Holmes, Metropolitan Police Service of London and Ms Lavdie Ruci, Chairperson of the Women and Family Committee of Albania).
All fifteen countries prepared recommendations both at national and at regional levels. Discussions during the seminar and recommendations formulated suggest that the following issues seem to be of particular importance (see also the Elements for a Regional Plan of Action in Appendix V):
At national level:
· the need to ensure the political commitment of the highest political authorities in each country, also by using the mechanisms and fora of the Stability Pact;
· the need to encourage States to adopt and implement effectively national legislation against trafficking, establishing trafficking as a serious criminal offence;
· the need to prepare and implement a national Plan of Action in each country on trafficking in human beings, particularly for the purpose of sexual exploitation, by establishing a multisectoral national mechanism composed of relevant entities.
At sub-regional level:
· the need to promote co-operation and co-ordination among governments and among IGOs active in the region also by encouraging the creation of sub-regional and national multidisciplinary specialised units;
· the need to promote the Task Force on Trafficking created under the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.
The seminar took a rather innovative approach, as it gathered experts from very different backgrounds (government and NGOs representatives, as well as law enforcement and police officials). This multidisciplinary approach was highly appreciated, as shown by the assessment forms completed by the participants.
The result was that the seminar offered to 80 experts from 15 countries and to rapporteurs, an opportunity to share experiences and to formulate recommendations both at national and regional levels. Participants underlined that the seminar gave them a clearer overview of the issue. The actions and measures prepared by the participants constitute a first step towards the preparation of National Action Plans to be disseminated and implemented by competent and concerned institutions. Furthermore, the seminar was regarded as being very useful in order to improve legislation.
The seminar also created good conditions for networking and improving co-ordination and collaboration, and offered the possibility to prepare suggestions for further work to be done in the fields of media, universities and non-governmental organisations.
The participants agreed unanimously that the seminar laid the ground for concrete follow-up action to be undertaken, both at national and regional levels. The recent establishment of the Task Force on trafficking in the framework of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe was kept in mind throughout the seminar and participants had the opportunity to meet the co-ordinator of the Task Force.
The Council of Europe, and in particular its Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG), has undertaken a series of activities against trafficking over the past ten years. As a result of this work, the Committee of Ministers adopted, on 19 May 2000, Recommendation No. R (2000) 11 to member States on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation prepared by the CDEG. The International Seminar held in Athens was organised in order to ensure immediate follow-up to the adoption of this text, with special focus on South-East Europe.
The Seminar was organised at the initiative of the Council of Europe (DG II - Human Rights) and financed and co-sponsored by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations and by Japan. The seminar was organised in close partnership with the Directorate General of Legal Affairs - DG I of the Council of Europe, OSCE/ODHIR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and was held in Athens at the invitation of the Greek Secretariat for Equality of the Sexes of the Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation2.
The aim of the seminar was to determine action to be taken at national and regional levels against trafficking in human beings in South-East Europe, taking into account the experience and best practices of organisations involved. In this way, the seminar was expected to make a substantive contribution to the design of a realistic regional action plan and to co-ordinated action against trafficking in human beings within the framework of the Stability Pact, which will respond to the needs and priorities of countries involved.
The main text that served as the framework of reference and discussion for the Seminar was Recommendation No. R (2000) 11 to member States adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 19 May 2000 on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation (see Appendix 3).
Furthermore, a compilation of the main legal instruments and analytical reports dealing with trafficking in human beings at international, regional and national levels was prepared by the Secretariat. This compendium aimed to provide an overview of the existing legal texts and reports as well as allowing for a rapid search for references and texts at all levels3.
The participants in the seminar reflected the multidisciplinary and regional character of the project. Approximately 70/80 persons were invited to attend. They were involved in the fight against trafficking in human beings at national or international level.
At national level, all the countries of South-East Europe were invited to send representatives, whether they are countries of origin, of transit or of destination. These include: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo), Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey and Ukraine4.
In order to ensure a multidisciplinary approach, each State was invited to designate 3 experts specialised in the following aspects of trafficking in human beings:
· one legal expert (law enforcement/police/migration);
· one expert in human rights questions (protection of victims’ rights);
· one representative of an NGO active in the fight against trafficking.
At international level, the partner organisations were invited to send representatives. Representatives of relevant international bodies and NGOs were also invited to take part in the seminar and were involved in its work (see Appendix 4).
As a result, the participants:
· prepared and adopted recommendations for actions to be undertaken at national level, including launching and implementing National Action Plans against trafficking;
· prepared and adopted elements for a Regional Action Plan against trafficking in human beings.
A detailed questionnaire (see Appendix 3) was prepared and sent to the participants before the seminar. Each participant was asked to prepare responses to the questionnaire on the basis of his/her own background and work environment. In order to answer the questions, participants could refer to Recommendation No R (2000) 11.
The aim of the questionnaire was to:
· take stock of the known factual data relating to trafficking in human beings and/or of the possible data sources (extent and nature of the problem; background; itineraries of victims);
· list the stakeholders involved, as well as the needs and initiatives desired, envisaged or implemented in order to combat trafficking in human beings (legal framework; responsible institutions; projects in the field of prevention, training, assistance);
· provide an inventory of existing or future possibilities for co-ordination and co-operation at national and international levels.
The replies to the questionnaire were set out in a working document for the seminar. Answers to the questionnaire are available in a separate document5.
The work was organised on 3 main themes indicated in the programme and determined on the basis of the above-mentioned Recommendation No. R (2000) 11:
· Assistance and protection of victims;
· Legal action (penal legislation and judicial co-operation).
On the first day, the theme of Prevention was introduced by Ms Elisa Tsakiri and
Ms Julie Bindel.
On the same day, the second theme - Assistance and protection of victims - was also presented by Ms Madeleine Rees, Ms Mara Radovanovic and Mr Grigoris Lazos.
On the second day, the theme of legal action (penal legislation and judicial co-operation) was introduced by Mr Paul Holmes and Ms Lavdie Ruci.
After these presentations, three working groups were formed, one on each main theme of the seminar. The groups worked on the basis of the presentations of the keynote speakers and on specific chapters of the Appendix to the Recommendation as follows:
· working group I: chapter IV of the Appendix to the Recommendation;
· working group II: chapter V of the Appendix to the Recommendation;
· working group III: chapters VI and VII of the Appendix to the Recommendation.
The keynote speakers acted as facilitators in the working groups, assisted by moderators.
On the Saturday, in plenary session, each national delegation reported the results of its work in the working groups in the form of recommendations.
In order to guide the discussions and preparation of recommendations, a matrix for each working group was provided by the Secretariat. Furthermore, several documents were put at the disposal of the participants. These included: a summary of the replies to the questionnaire, a compilation of existing legal instruments dealing with the fight against trafficking at international and regional levels and other recent analytical reports on trafficking.
Working Group 1: PREVENTION
Facilitators: Ms Elisa Tsakiri, International Organisation for Migration
Ms Julie Bindel, University of London
Moderators: Ms Olöf Olafsdóttir, Head of Equality Division, Council of Europe
Ms Jyothi Kanics, Advisor on trafficking issues, OSCE/ODIHR
Prevention (chapter IV of the Appendix to Recommendation No R (2000) 11 )
Measures envisaged and/or implemented (evaluation)
1. Awareness-raising and information
- Information campaigns
- Dissemination of information (documentation, videos, leaflets)
- Activities to raise awareness of media professionals
- include information in school curricula
- ensure education without gender stereotypes
Prevention II (chapter IV of the Appendix to Recommendation No R (2000) 11)
Measures envisaged and/or implemented (evaluation)
Institutions/bodies responsible (mandates, functions)
Special training for social workers, health, teaching, diplomatic, consular, judicial, customs and police personnel
Training programmes for police officers
Training programmes to improve co-operation between police and NGOs
Training programmes for immigration officials and frontier police
4. Long-term action
Ways to improve social status and economic conditions
Mainstream the need to improve women's condition into other policies
Disseminate information on the possibilities for legal migration for women
Working group 2: ASSISTANCE and PROTECTION of VICTIMS
Facilitators: Ms Madeleine Rees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms Mara Radovanovic, Women's organisation "Lara", Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms Alice Marangopoulou, Professor, Chair of the Foundation for Human Rights, Chair of the League for Women's Rights, Greece
Moderators: Ms Sophie Piquet, Equality Division, Council of Europe
Ms Jane Gronow, UNICEF, Area Office for the Balkans
Assistance to and protection of
Measures envisaged and/or implemented (evaluation)
Institutions/bodies responsible (mandates, functions)
1. Victim support
- reception facilities providing for victims with information on their rights, as well as psychological, medical, social and administrative support
- legal assistance for the victims in their own language
2. Legal action
- protection of victims (special audio or video facilities)
- protection systems for victims, in particular from intimidation and reprisals
- protection to members of organisations assisting the victims during the proceedings
Assistance to and protection of
Measures envisaged and/or implemented (evaluation)
Institutions/bodies responsible (mandates, functions)
- temporary residence status
3. Social measures for victims in countries of origin
- establishment of a network of NGOs involved in assistance
- co-operation between reception facilities and NGOs
4. Right of return and rehabilitation
- right to return through
- financing the return
- social support for returnees
- special measures for victims’ occupational reintegration
Working Group 3 LEGAL ACTION (penal legislation and judicial co-operation)
Moderators: Mr Paul Holmes, Metropolitan Police Service, London
Ms Lavdie Ruci, Chairperson of the Women and Family Committee of Albania
Mr Manganas, Professor of Criminology, Pandion University, Greece
Facilitator: Mr Alexander Seger, Economic Crime Division, Council of Europe
THB: Preparation of national and regional action plans - Matrix to guide discussions - based on Recommendation R(2000)11
Policies, coordination, cooperation
Assistance/Protection of victims (Part V.ii.)
Penal legislation & judicial cooperation (Part VI)
THS-SE as international organised crime: coordinated action (para5)
Assistance/protection of victims (Part V ii.)
Strengthen legislation on THB-sexual exploitation, introduce as separate offence? (para 42)
Multi-disciplinary approach (para 6)
Coordinating mechanism + multi-discipl. approach (para 50)
Audio/video hearings (para 28)
Sanction: dissuasive and allowing for judicial cooperation and extradition (para 43)
Information exchange at national level (para 51)
Protection of victims, witnesses and their families (para 29)
Confiscation of proceeds of trafficking in human beings (para 44)
Info-exchange at international level (
Establish witness protection systems (para 30)
Police investigations and monitoring (para 45)
Protection of families of victims in the country of origin in case of legal proceedings in country of destination (para 31)
Liability of legal persons (para46)
Courts to order payment of compensation to victims (para 33)
Temporary residence status to victims to act as witnesses (para 34)
Extraterritorial jurisdiction (para48)
Temporary residence on humanitarian grounds (para 35)
Establish information systems + data protection (para49)
Immediate follow-up measures were envisaged during the seminar:
· country representatives were invited to specify the concrete measures needed to start implementing the recommendations concerning their country. National consultations were to be organised after the seminar to establish priorities on a co-ordinated basis.
· representatives of international bodies and country representatives had to specify the resources which could be made available to start implementing the recommendations, both at regional and national levels.
During the months following the seminar, the participants will be asked to prioritise the recommendations concerning their country, specifying the concrete measures needed to start implementing them. This should be the result of a co-ordinated process involving, at national level, all the authorities concerned. The measures identified at national level will be part of the regional plan for immediate action.
Introductory address by Ms Violeta Neubauer (Slovenia)
Chair of the Steering Committee for equality between women and men of the
Council of Europe
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you today and in my capacity as Chair of the Steering Committee for Equality between women and men of the Council of Europe, I would also like to welcome you to this Seminar and to extend my warm thanks to the Greek authorities for their exceptional sense of hospitality. I am very grateful to our hosts for having initiated the process by launching the idea of this seminar on co-ordinated action against trafficking in human beings in South-East Europe.
I should like to thank all the partners who have contributed to the organisation of this seminar, and in particular Japan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with whom the Council of Europe has been working constantly and who have once again provided us with their indispensable support.
Trafficking is certainly not a new issue and all of us present in this room have decided to tackle this question because we have understood its importance and its grave consequences. At this stage, I think we are all convinced of the need to fight a phenomenon that is endangering the basic principles of the rule of law and of democracy.
Before beginning our work, let me recall briefly what has happened over the past few years, as this may help to put things in perspective and to better assess the present situation. For many years now, the international community has been denouncing trafficking in human beings as a modern form of slavery and as a serious violation of human rights. Almost ten years have passed since the Council of Europe, alerted by the governments and NGOs of its member States, organised its first conference on trafficking, in 1991. At that time, it must be said, the issue did not attract much attention and was not perceived as a political issue.
However, trafficking in Europe grew and expanded rapidly. The number of victims increased to such an extent that the mass media started reporting it, and the general public discovered horrible cases of trafficking described sometimes in a sensational fashion. [We had a very recent example last week, although the tragedy that occurred in Dover did not involve victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation as such]. NGOs, international organisations and State authorities started to mobilise. Many actions have already been undertaken, both at national and international levels. Indeed, what we have seen over the years is that awareness is increasing gradually: trafficking is higher and higher on the political agenda and work to combat trafficking has commenced.
This is an achievement in itself. Actually, it seems that we have now reached a political moment in time when different actors, different forces are ready to join together to reach the same goal. This is the very reason for organising this seminar: the aim of the few days we will spend together is to take advantage of the momentum in order to determine and launch concrete action and join forces in order to combat trafficking in human beings, especially in women and very young women. Words are not enough; the time has now come to act.
Despite all the work already done, we have to face the fact that the results are not satisfactory and that, as far as we can tell, trafficking is on the increase. New trends appear all the time, and trafficking actually constitutes a “moving target” which is more and more difficult to hit. Trafficking is a global, transnational and transborder issue which very often belongs to large-scale, highly profitable and organised crime.
Fighting such a phenomenon efficiently requires a multidisciplinary, co-ordinated and joint effort to be undertaken at national level, by all bodies concerned, as well as at regional and international level. Combating trafficking is a very challenging task: it requires implementing concrete actions in a co-ordinated manner which, in practical terms, is a very difficult thing to do.
Co-ordination is a key word, but also a real challenge. I was myself a member of the multidisciplinary Group of Specialists which prepared Recommendation (2000) 11 on which most of your work during this seminar will be based. The discussions held in this group, which gathered specialists from different sectors (human rights and gender issues, legal co-operation, crime problems, mass media, social policy, migration) and countries, constituted, in my view, a significant example of the difficulties one has to face when undertaking international multidisciplinary work.
Your discussions during the seminar will be facilitated by making use of Recommendation (2000) 11 as a starting point. This text is a full international instrument, adopted by the governments of the 41 member States of the Council of Europe and which, although not legally binding like a Convention, can be used as a concrete platform in order to design measures and actions against trafficking. It is one of the first attempts to co-ordinate action amongst governments through a legal text. It should now be completed by concrete actions, undertaken at national, regional and international levels. This is the most difficult part of the challenge and we are here to start taking up that challenge.
This is why, during the seminar, you will be asked to contribute actively: the discussions will be informal, and we need the input of each and every one. The participants in this seminar come from different backgrounds: this is an effort towards working in a multidisciplinary way. As professionals dealing daily with trafficking and its consequences, your input is crucial. Make sure that your concerns are voiced and let’s try to work together to build the basis for national and regional plans of action.
You will also have noticed that this seminar assembles an important number of representatives of international bodies, who have kindly responded to our invitation. This is to ensure co-ordination, which has been lacking in the past. International organisations need to join forces if we are to achieve concrete results.
* * *
Ten years ago, the first cases of trafficking from Eastern Europe were discovered in Europe. Today, the whole continent has been hit by the phenomenon and South-East Europe is particularly concerned. It is time for action. I hope that this seminar will help us move from an early awareness-raising phase towards a new stage, characterised by co-ordinated action. All the necessary means should be taken to fight a phenomenon that constitutes a violation of the dignity and integrity of human beings.
Address by Ms Patsy Sørensen, MEP
European Union Rapporteur on the fight against trafficking in women
In the European Parliament I was designated as rapporteur For further actions in the fight against trafficking in women. This report was adopted by the general assembly of 19 May 2000. The proposed measures focus on prevention, reception of victims, legislation and regulation.
The proposed prevention actions include
· Co-operation within the EU and between the EU and other countries and international organisations;
· Production of, say, information films to warn parents in countries of origin of the sex industry that is behind offers of attractive holiday jobs. A film of this kind is being made as part of a co-operative project between Belgium and the Philippines;
· Measures to increase vigilance with respect to possible victims through the provision of information to the staff of embassies and consulates when they are dealing with visa applications and permits;
· Organisation of training courses for personnel concerned with migration files with a view to helpint them to recognise potential victims;
· Attention to the profile of the victim and the market mechanisms of trafficking in human beings.
In order to improve assistance to victims, we called for:
· Co-operation between the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the police and NGOs, e.g. the appointment of judicial assistants;
· A basic network for co-operation;
· A European fund for victims of violence (victims often suffer in various countries) after a request for the damage to be made good;
· The possibility for the victim to become a legal resident and obtain the necessary working documents; in the event of serious problems, the right to a permanent residence permit;
· Legal counselling and the services of a competent translator in the event of administrative or legal proceedings;
· Training courses for police forces, home affairs ministries and diplomats;
· Financial help, assistance in finding employment, vocational training;
· Safe and voluntary re-integration in their country of origin or integration in the country of residence or final destination;
· Measures to protect victims and witnesses and the families of witnesses, not least in the country of origin, and guaranteed safety for women acting as witnesses or wishing to testify;
· Strict confidentiality in medical and psychological tests, which may be conducted only at the request of the person concerned and must be preceded and followed by proper counselling, together with access to all social and health services;
· Reception centres and suitable housing which meet the appropriate security requirements.
Of utmost importance is that people who are sexually exploited must be regarded as victims and that, in view of the great difficulty they have in escaping sexual exploitation, both the Union and the Member States must take the measures necessary for their reintegration; through the use of Community resources and the development of programmes for combating social exclusion, as well as through special measures for the reintegration of victims who are forced to work as prostitutes.
The proposals for improving legislation are
· in the first place, a harmonised definition of trafficking in human beings, whereby this crime is categorised in the same way in all member States;
· effective, proportional and dissuasive sanctions against traffickers;
· extraterritoriality jurisdiction and extradition for the crime of trafficking in human beings,
· seizure of the proceeds of criminal activities and legal scope for compensation and reparation for victims for the financial, physical and psychological harm they have suffered;
· non-criminalisation of trafficked persons, including non-criminalisation for the use of forged visas or documents made as a result of their ordeal, together with a ban on any form of internment of victims in detention centres;
· measures to protect victims and witnesses and the families of witnesses, not least in the country of origin, and guaranteed safety for women acting as witnesses or wishing to testify;
· the possibility for NGOs to bring court actions on behalf of the victim;
· the reversal of the burden of proof in court actions on trafficking charges, so that it rests with the alleged trafficker in a way that complies with national constitutions;
· that the circumstances of victims of trafficking should not constitute grounds for an investigation of their background or of public or private documents and can in no event be used against them, their families or their close relations, particularly when they freely exercise their rights as regards freedom of movement, establishment and seeking gainful employment;
· strict confidentiality in medical and psychological tests, which may be conducted only at the request of the person concerned and must be preceded and followed by proper counselling;
· an analysis of trafficking and the existing instruments for combating it, including specific data and estimates – number, origin, age and sex of persons involved, comparison of criminal law;
· a detailed examination of the difficulties encountered in identifying and dismantling networks and detecting any links between different mafia organisations;
· a specific evaluation of police co-operation and co-operation with non-member countries, in particular candidate countries and an overview of arrangements for victim support;
· an estimate of the budgetary resources required to implement the support measures required at European Union level;
· a yearly report by each Member State on the progress achieved in tackling trafficking in human beings;
· a regular overview by Interpol on the legislation and penalties related to forced prostitution and trafficking in human beings;
· adequately tackling the tendency to use new technologies, in particular the Internet, for the circulation of supply and demand information by trafficking networks including sale of women by mail order;
· attention has to be drawn to the emergence of new trends in trafficking and to the situation of women in conflict and post-conflict areas, where political, social and economic disruption and a large international presence create conditions in which trafficking can flourish and calls on the international organisations for sensibilisation of staff deployed in those areas;
· the countries of destination should grant temporary residence permits to victims of trafficking in human beings, regardless of whether they wish to testify subsequently in court that they have been victims of trafficking; and special permanent residence permits on humanitarian grounds to women victims of trafficking; NGOs with established credentials in assisting women victims of trafficking should be authorised to give their opinions as to whether residence permits should be issued.
Further on the resolution calls for specific actions in the field of
· Co-operation between NGOs, police forces and local authorities;
· Special police units that can be deployed in the fight against trafficking in women and enforced prostitution (or illegal employment);
· Provisions to make it possible to uncover and seize the profits made on activities connected with trafficking in women;
· Enabling NGOs to bring court actions on behalf of the victims of trafficking in women;
· Promotion of co-operation between authorities, police forces and NGOs of Member States, (taking advantage of the third pillar of the Maastricht Treaty, which is geared to justice and home affairs and enables Member States to co-operate outside the structural framework of the Union).
The European Commission commits itself to keeping high on the political agenda the fight against trafficking in women and children. Before the end of the Portuguese presidency, the Commission will present a proposal for legislative measures for victims. It is important that these intentions are also accompanied by adequate funding. In order to combat trafficking and violence against women, adequate funding is required as well as sufficient allocations from the EU budget.
In this framework, the work of local NGOs involved in the fight against trafficking in human beings, has to be strengthened. Therefore the European programmes, STOP and Daphne, have to be expanded with adequate funding to applicant countries. The Council has to consider the key role of Europol in crime prevention, analysis and investigation and has to provide the necessary support and resources.
Considering the links between trafficking in persons, migration and asylum policies, the Commission has to analyse the extent to which immigration laws and practices in the EU contribute to trafficking and calls for a specific approach to trafficking in women beyond irregular migration issues. Therefore, the IGC (Intergovernmental Conference) has to insert in the Treaty a clear legal basis for fighting all forms of violence against women including trafficking in women and to decide on the full communautarisation of a European policy on the fight against trafficking in human beings and on the related issues of migration and asylum, in particular the right of asylum in response to gender related oppression and persecution.
Address by Ms Madeleine Rees
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The primary mandate of the OHCHR is to try to inject human rights protection into the way in which governments and international agencies approach difficult and sometimes contentious issues. The mandate of the field office in Bosnia and Herzegovina is little different if more specific in that we have discrimination and gender identified: we get to try to put theory into practice.
This is the approach that we have taken in relation to the issue of trafficking in persons, particularly for the purpose of forced prostitution. Incredible as it may seem, the evidence of some NGOs is that the first evidence of women being brought into Bosnia as sex workers was in 1993. Incredible as it may seem, there was no response from the International Community until 1998. Now there is a programme, imperfect as yet since it is all being done by the international community and not all of those who should be combating it are in fact so doing, but we are late, we are five years too late and as a result the problem is entrenched and many who have been caught up in the trafficking cycle have remained trapped within it.
The question arises as to how often lessons have to be repeated before they are actually learnt? We know from the experience of Cambodia, Mozambique and the Philippines, to name but a few, that when there is a large influx of men in uniforms, either as peace keepers or as a result of militarisation, then a market is created for sex work, and where there is a market there are "entrepreneurs" who will seek to take advantage of it. Enter the traffickers. Witness Kosovo and the immediate response of the traffickers to the initial deployment of the KVM, brothels built, women from Ukraine being brought in, and no action taken by anyone to prevent it...
The reasons that are traditionally advanced, in terms of any sort of gender analysis, let alone matters which particularly impact on women, are that there are real violations taking place which must be dealt with first and, by implication, when the situation allows then attention will be given to less important matters. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the international community were all there; from 1995 the OSCE, the UN, the Council of Europe, innumerable international NGOs and still nothing was done either in terms of anticipation of the problem, prevention, awareness raising, strictly enforced codes of conduct, on the contrary, it became a fight to persuade the various organisations that this was and is an issue that must be dealt with. Sadly, the conclusion that one draws is that since this is an issue involving sex, and women providing services for men, albeit in many cases forcibly, then this was not a cause for concern. This attitude is still the most difficult to combat and as long as the focus of the debate on the trafficking is on prostitution, then the longer it will be before there is a meaningful response.
The fact that we were late in Bosnia has had many ramifications. Clearly for the trafficked persons themselves but also in that it has allowed the infrastructure to develop which facilitates the process and has given extraordinary amounts of money to those engaged in criminal activities. This has increased the amount of corruption, given power and influence to organised crime and made the entire issue far, far more difficult to combat.
This indicates the need to be pro-active rather than re-active.
In almost all cases, those who get caught in the trafficking cycle are first and foremost economic migrants. It is the economic conditions in the country of origin that are the prime factor in forcing people to seek employment elsewhere. In real life this employment often ends up as some form of forced labour, the type of that labour being predicated primarily by sex, race and age. Logically, therefore, the only long term solution to the problem is to address the social and economic conditions in the countries of origin.
That is too late once an individual is already moving. The next step is therefore to analyse the nature of State responsibility by breaking the generic concept of trafficking into its component parts for example; abduction, fraud, deceit, illegal transportation, theft, assault, illegal detention, threats, harassment, sexual assault, rape and in the worst case scenario, murder. There are many others. The State must take action to protect everyone within its territory from such crimes. Failure to do so would constitute a human rights violation by the State itself. One of the aims of any counter trafficking programme is to get the State to take this action, to prosecute the perpetrators of crime and not to criminalise the victims, on the contrary the obligation is to assist the victims. This would include the need to provide legal advice, health care, counselling and safe and voluntary repatriation.
This is the concept behind the programme that we have sought to establish in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is nowhere near perfect but at least women, (and so far it has only been women and women minors who have been assisted), do have the possibility of getting assistance in all of the above mentioned areas and of going home. At present the State is not taking responsibility and the work is being done by the international community, over time this will have to change
In summary, what has already been stated by the Council of Europe, namely that there must be an integrated approach to dealing with the issue of trafficking, is the only way forward. It is not appropriate to look only at security, immigration control, and prosecution of those working illegally in other countries or deemed to be committing criminal offences, as happens at the moment. What is needed is a vision of what the situation would look like if we based our approach in a human rights framework, respecting equality, social and economic rights and freedom of movement to name but a few. There is no doubt but that such a vision would look very different from the situation we are witnessing at present.
Ms Helga Konrad
Co-ordinator, Stability Pact - Task Force on Trafficking in
Human Beings in South-Eastern Europe
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for the opportunity to address this seminar.
It is indeed an honour to be here so soon after my appointment as Regional Trafficking Co-ordinator for the Balkan region.
The OSCE Chairperson -in-office, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria, Ms Benita Ferrero-Waldner, has appointed two additional experts - including myself - to deal in ODIHR with trafficking issues in order to underline the importance of this topic and to stress that trafficking issues are one of the priorities of the OSCE Chairmanship.
As you may know, the Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings in South-East Europe which I will chair, has been established under Working Table 3/Security Issues within the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe under the auspices of OSCE.
For those who don't know me, I would like to give you an idea of my background concerning trafficking issues and of my approach to this problem.
For several years - during my time as an Austrian politician at local, regional and national level and as former Minister for Women's Affairs - I have tried to sharpen people’s awareness of the criminal character and violation of human rights that trafficking in women constitutes and to take preventive measures jointly with other politicians.
In 1996 I hosted, together with the Minister of Interior, the EU Conference on Trafficking where a number of programmes to combat trafficking in human beings were developed and adopted.
Together with NGOs and international organisations we did some research work on the current situation with regard to trafficking and we tried to intensify co-operation among government agencies and NGOs of countries of origin, of transit and countries of destination to acquire additional know-how and to network with other interested groups.
We started to develop a programme to protect witnesses and victims so that the women involved should definitely not be criminalised. They should rather be convinced that they should assist in the prosecution of the respective criminal gangs.
At the same time, we started to join forces to work towards improving the legal basis for the fight against trafficking. We formed an inter-agency working group where, in addition to experts from the ministries involved, public health authorities, the police and representatives of NGOs took part in its activities.
And last but not least, we started to develop a victim protection service which is still functioning and from the experiences made we can still learn how to improve the situation.
Of course, it has always been clear to me that neither one country going it alone nor a handful of committed politicians or NGOs would get a grip on the complex criminal activity of trafficking in human beings in the near future. But I am nevertheless convinced that if all of us act, each in his/her special field, we can change things by our work both in specific cases and at the structural level.
It is clear to me that the aim of combating trafficking in women cannot just consist of depriving criminal organisations of their human capital - which is often the principal goal behind the national and international strategies of the security authorities.
We must strengthen the position of women and help them to avail themselves of their rights. Trafficking is also a symptom of the gender inequality in our societies.
Analysis of, and reflection on, the underlying societal conditions and the economic background to trafficking in women are indispensable for a qualified discussion and for swift, practical action.
The issue of trafficking in human beings is by no means a new one, but over the past few years it has gained an additional dimension in this era of globalisation. It has become a world-wide, degrading business involving women and children - where the profits are very high and the risk is low - which is expanding dramatically; those who define it as a “modern form of slavery" are certainly right.
And the market is still increasing.
These facts - briefly touched upon - which we all know, have brought us together here today, as they did some days ago in Vienna at the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting. I am sure that we all recognise that it is necessary to join forces at all levels to face this challenge and to be successful in the fight against trafficking.
Co-operation and co-ordination at the national and at the regional level are essential, between the different authorities, between the different international actors and between the different countries involved.
The need for assistance for trafficked persons in the Balkan region is enormous, but there is no agreed procedure on how to intervene or even which authorities in each country can be called upon for assistance. There is a need to develop effective laws and enforcement strategies against trafficking. There is a need for neighbouring countries to harmonise their laws and their judicial practices. A lot of informal structures exist, but there is a lack of clear, concrete structure and a lack of comprehensive, complete data points or data collection.
To start with, we will therefore launch two projects - OSCE/ODIHR in close co-operation with IOM and the Council of Europe - Applied Research and Data Collection on Trafficking to, through and from the Balkan Region and the other project dealing with a Review of Legislation on the Combat against Trafficking in Human Beings. In the case of the latter project, we intend to conduct a comprehensive review of the legislative framework, in particular in the Balkan region, and to establish close co-operation with relevant authorities and engage them in active discussions on changes recommended to their respective laws. The project will make use of the Council of Europe's existing collection of legal instruments and analytical reports on the international and national levels as well as drawing upon the expertise gained in the negotiations on the UN Draft Protocol on Trafficking.
The Data Collection project will establish a comprehensive database and will provide institutions and authorities involved in the combat against trafficking in human beings and in assisting its victims with the factual information they need to devise relevant policies, legislation and procedures. Based on the results of the project it will be decided whether follow-up research to evaluate trends and a joint IOM-OSCE/ODIHR conference on the results will be needed.
So, what can we do within the Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings? What can be the "added value" of the Task Force? What will be its purpose?
First of all: there is no fixed recipe.
- In addition to the exchange of information on current and proposed activities and initiatives in the region, we will try to bring the most important actors together with the aim of identifying and nominating so-called 'national co-ordinators';
- We will encourage the major players in the region to agree on respective roles, on a division of labour for anti-trafficking efforts in the region, depending on the capacity, resources and mandates of the individual organisations, with the aim of creating synergies and of reacting more efficiently and rapidly;
- We shall encourage governments in the region to take effective action against trafficking. Governments have to get involved, they have to accept their responsibility. They will have to join in and co-operate with NGOs and the international organisations active in this area. The fight against trafficking has to be at the top of the political agenda of each country of the region;
- In a long-term perspective, we shall monitor the governments’ commitments;
- We shall monitor anti-trafficking initiatives and activities in the region and try to find the gaps which we will have to 'fill', avoiding duplication and overlap;
- We shall try to develop a mechanism for effective anti-trafficking co-ordination at the regional and possibly international level. A regional action plan which we will elaborate at this seminar under the auspices of the Council of Europe can provide essential input and be an important instrument for this purpose;
- And - last but not least – we shall generate financial and political support for anti-trafficking efforts through the Stability Pact and through the individual states and organisations represented in the Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings in South-East Europe.
During the next days and weeks I will continue the initial stage of my work by visiting the countries in the region concerned, but given the urgency and acuteness of the problem of trafficking as well as the great interest of the countries and organisations that are partners in the Stability Pact, we will attempt to hold a first meeting of the Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings within the weeks to come.
I do hope we all meet again on this occasion to discuss further steps.
Introductory notes by Mr Marco A. Gramegna
Head Counter Trafficking Service Area, International Organization for Migration
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me first express, on behalf of IOM, our recognition to the Council of Europe for organising this timely and important meeting and to the Greek Government for hosting it.
The issue of trafficking in human beings has reached significant proportions worldwide, basically involving criminality and violation of human rights.
Trafficking is a process starting from the recruitment of potential victims with the exploitation, abuse and violation of the rights of the person. It is essential that anti-trafficking measures take account of this fact and that efforts be made to address the entire cycle of trafficking.
IOM carries out an integrated approach throughout its worldwide activities to fight against trafficking. Activities focus on two macro categories: Prevention and Assistance.
§ on PREVENTION:
- organise seminars, to co-ordinate/harmonise polices and measures, create formal and informal network to deal with the issue.
- research, provide governments and other actors with essential information for developing various forms of intervention.
- training of governmental officials and NGOs to increase the capacity of governmental and other institutions to counteract trafficking.
- mass information campaigns in countries of origin in an effort to acquaint potential migrants with the risks of irregular migration and transit trafficking and to allow them to take a well-informed decision about migration.
§ on ASSISTANCE/PROTECTION
- IOM provides legal and medical counselling and assistance to trafficked migrants in transit and receiving countries. In co-operation with NGOs and/or ministries of health and other concerned parties, IOM seeks to address the health care of trafficked migrants.
- In co-ordination with NGOs and governmental institutions, IOM provides shelter and accommodation for victims of trafficking.
- IOM offers voluntary return and reintegration to trafficked migrants. Return travel and reintegration assistance is tailored to the individual situation of the migrant.
General trends on trafficking reveal that the phenomenon is constantly increasing and has assumed an international dimension. Trafficking should be dealt with on different levels, by different actors and by a variety of planned and co-ordinated actions.
In recent years, several countries in South East Europe have suffered violence, wars, economic and ecological disasters. All these have been used by traffickers for their own profit; their easy prey are the most vulnerable elements of society, particularly those left with no protection and who see no opportunities.
Counter-trafficking actions carried out in isolation in one country are not enough. The response should be co-operation among countries of origin and destination, including the interests of all and taking into account the different economic, political and historic realities of the countries involved. Effective counter-trafficking action requires more than designing new strategies for alleviating poverty. It requires a broad understanding of social, cultural and psychological factors involved for actors.
Interdisciplinary, international co-operation is the essence of involving all the relevant national and international bodies, NGOs, law enforcement and judicial institutions in order to provide an appropriate response to trafficking and punishment for the perpetrators.
In this context, the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe represents a unique tool to fight trafficking and this meeting represents a step forward towards that co-operation.
Dr Takashi Ebashi
Professor, Law Faculty, University of Hosei, Japan
Dear Chairperson, honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to participate in the opening session of this international seminar. I am indebted to the organising committee for the invitation to greet this distinguished audience here in Athens.
I am a constitutional lawyer in Japan, and also the representative of a Tokyo-based NGO concerning trafficking on women and children in Mekong region. I have a good relationship with the Asian Women’s Fund of Japan. I have come here with the hope of learning about your joint efforts for co-ordinated action against trafficking in human beings in South East Europe. However, as was the duty of every participant, I have made a brief report of recent developments in Asia. I hope you will find it useful.
1) The regional conference on the Asian Regional Initiative Against Trafficking (ARIAT) was held in Manila on 29-31 March 2000. Participants from international organisations and 20 countries of origin, transit and destination participated, made reports and pledged to work together in order to achieve significant progress in this area, namely to improve information sharing, to promote education at all levels, to encourage the establishment of common legal framework, to strengthen training for enforcement, immigration, consular and other relevant partners, to protect legally and physically the victims, to endeavour to provide programmes for reintegration, and to strengthen processes for prosecuting this crime.
Besides, as the root cause of trafficking is poverty, most particularly among women and girls who have little or no access to education, support services, or resources, active programmes for victims, especially repatriation and resettlement programmes of victims in their original countries should be supported by the sustainable development policy of the area. In this context, we should pay keen attention to China, with its efforts to accelerate the development of south and western Provinces. We, and the Asian Women’s Fund, also attended it as NGOs.
2) Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF), with UNHCHR and Fiji Government, organised The Regional Workshop on the role of National Human Rights Institutions in Advancing the International Human Rights of Women. It was held in Suva, Fiji on 5-7 May. Fifteen countries, mainly Pacific Island countries, participated in the workshop. Since 1996, the forum and UNHCHR jointly have organised annual regional conferences on the establishment of national human rights institutions in some countries, which have already established such institutions. They also started specialised workshops since last year. This is the second one of the series.
Fiji established the national human rights institute in 1999, under the coalition cabinet of the Prime Minister, Mr. Chaudhry. The Prime Minister opened the workshop with a very impressive address that touched the total view of the coalition cabinet’s policy for women’s human rights. As you know, ten days later, a coup d’état occurred in Suva, and Mr. Chaudhry was detained. It is ironic that a government with a very progressive policy for women’s human rights was destroyed by armed men and the future of the country is virtually decided by men.
The workshop was successful, with the support of international co-operation among NGOs and governments in this region. As some countries have not yet become Parties to the CEDAW, the workshop stressed the importance of doing so, and of co-operating with NGOs in the preparation of the reports to CEDAW.
As you know, in the Pacific Island countries, the traditional way of life remains, and the workshop checked every aspect of women’s human rights in such societies. The workshop expressed deep regret and concern at reports of the increasing incidence of violence against women and children within the region and of trafficking in women and girls.
The Japanese government did not send a representative to this workshop. Instead, two Tokyo based NGOs, Human Rights Forum 21, which has co-operated with APF in every forum since 1997, and the Japan Civil Liberties Union, which is the leading NGO for National Human Rights Institutions and organised a workshop on the subject in 1998 at Jakarta, Indonesia, sent their members.
3) The Mekong Region Law Center (MRLC), a Bangkok based NGO, organised a series of national workshops in this area, namely, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 15-16 June 1999, in Hanoi, Vietnam on 21-22 December 1999, in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 13-14 January 2000 and in Bangkok, Thailand on 15-16 March 2000.
From Japan, AWF and TWCMR, a Tokyo based NGO working in the field of Trafficking in Women and Children in Mekong Region co-operated with this action, financially supported it and participated in the Bangkok Round-Table Meeting.
Participants in this meeting came from China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Japan, and from some international Agencies in Bangkok. They touched every aspects of trafficking, and stressed their concern about the institution and legal framework against trafficking. Repatriation and resettlement programmes also caught their concern. Yunnan Provincial Government made an impressive report of their actions against trafficking of Chinese women and children.
Originally, we, MRLC, AWF and TWCMR, planned two more national workshops in Yunnan Province, which is located in the Deep South of China, and Myanmar by March 2000. Unfortunately, both were postponed.
In the case of China, a central organisation of China, the Chinese Federation of Women in Beijing, showed their intention to organise it and reserved their participation in Bangkok round table meeting. We were delighted by such a positive attitude of Beijing, but in the process of preparation, they found out that the time allowance was too short to organise a good workshop in Yunnan Province, so they asked for our understanding of its postponement. Anyway, we can expect such a national workshop in the next fiscal year.
In the case of Myanmar, there was trouble between Myanmar and Thai, and in this country it became too dangerous to have a national workshop, internationally supported, organised by international NGOs, and internationally monitored. Instead of these two postponed national workshops, we organised a Round Table Meeting in Bangkok.
4. The Japanese Government organised an Asian Pacific Symposium on trafficking in persons in Tokyo on 20 January 2000. Actually, it was looked upon as a Japanese symposium with foreign guests and many Japanese NGOs could not participate. However, it could be said that this symposium awakened Japanese society to the problem of trafficking in human beings, requested co-operation between governmental institutions, international organisations and NGOs and requested people not just to talk but to do something about trafficking in women and girls.
Ladies and gentlemen, these four international gatherings are of course only a small part of the common efforts of Asian people against trafficking of women and children. Even so, we can see some progress and some hope for the future. In Europe, you can see far greater progress of international co-operation among governments, international institutions and NGOs. Even so, please watch our activities warm-heartedly and keep in touch with us.
Recently, the newly elected leader of the Taiwan government announced that Taiwan would become the area of international human rights. Then the leaders of North and South Korea showed the spirit of peace and friendship. Now in Asia, especially in East Asia, a new era of human rights and mutual understanding is standing by. I hope our common efforts for women’s human rights will become an integral part of it.
Ms Yulia Krieger
Area Programme Officer, Area Office for the Balkans, UNICEF
It is a pleasure for me to address this Seminar on behalf of UNICEF. Since I’m the last speaker, I shall be very brief. But first, I would like to add my voice to those of previous speakers in thanking the Council of Europe, High Commissioner for Human Rights, OSCE and IOM for the initiative to convene and the Government of Greece for hosting this Seminar.
It is important that strategies and recommendations for Regional and National Plans of Action address all forms of trafficking, and not just sexual exploitation. There is evidence that in South Eastern Europe children are being trafficked for the purpose of forced labour and there are unconfirmed reports of trafficking of children for organ transplants and adoption. Prevention and protection strategies and national legislation review must be broad enough to address these gross violations of human rights in addition to sexual exploitation.
The root causes of all forms of trafficking in the countries of transition in Europe and the former Soviet Union are the same: poverty and economic disparities exacerbated by the process of economic transition.
Trafficking also disproportionately affects women and girls as the transition process has increased poverty among women resulting in feminisation of migration as women are seeking to migrate in search of work. Awareness raising and education of girls and women is an important preventive strategy. But it is crucial to address the root cause of the problem: gender based discrimination, which results in the disproportionate exclusion of women from access to economic resources.
UNICEF stresses that the special status, rights and needs of children should be protected in accordance with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by all countries in Europe, for all children under 18 years of age. Last month, the General Assembly approved a resolution adopting an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. UNICEF strongly encourages all countries to ratify the optional protocol to ensure special protection of the rights of children and proposes to include ratification of the optional protocol in recommendations under regional and national plans of action.
Lastly, UNICEF is currently preparing a report on the situation and response to trafficking in human beings in South Eastern Europe. This report will provide an inventory of existing regional initiatives and activities of governments, international agencies and NGOs in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo) and “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. We hope that this report will assist in the co-ordination of existing initiatives and in the implementation of recommendations for action.
The keynote speakers presented the themes in plenary session and then acted as facilitators of the discussions in the working groups. Material facilities were available in order to assist the discussion.
Discussions in the working groups were informal. Participants were very active and pragmatic, emphasising problems encountered in each country and suggesting possible solutions using Recommendation No R (2000) 11 as a basis.
At the end of the working groups sessions, each participant was supposed to have a set of recommendations for his/her own country on the theme chosen. National delegations then met separately in order to put together the results and constitute a full set of recommendations. On the last day, national delegations were asked to present their recommendations in the plenary session. Regional recommendations were also prepared and presented at the closing session.
Theme I: Prevention
Ms Elisa Tsakiri, Public Information Campaign Specialist, IOM, presented the following topics in the plenary session:
· a description of the tools which may be used for prevention purposes (information campaigns, training, etc);
· an evaluation of previous IOM experiences in running information campaigns and other prevention instruments;
· good practices of countries which have started using prevention instruments.
Ms Julie Bindel, Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit, University of North London, presented the following items for discussion:
· links between trafficking and its deeper causes: the reasons why women wish desperately to emigrate (poor economic and social conditions, status of women in the country of origin);
· how these causes can be prevented;
· what action could the countries of origin undertake to avoid this, with the assistance of the international community;
· causes of trafficking are also deeply rooted in countries of destination: how to reduce demand for sex services?
Issues and proposals discussed in Working Group 1 (Prevention) can be summarised as follows:
a) Awareness raising and information
- General public as well as victims should be the biggest target of information;
- Other relevant targets should be:
· Politicians (put pressure on them);
· Traffickers (frighten them, see the Swedish Law penalising the buying of sexual services);
- Collect information and prepare research as a basis for work in order to acquire knowledge and methods;
- Use narrative stories of victims themselves for the audience, personal testimonies, avoid scary and sensationalist stories;
- Poster campaigns have to be followed up;
- Prepare a library of good practices;
- A Steering Committee should be appointed at national level and governments, IGOs and NGOs should come up with programmes.
Measures to be adopted:
- fight the school drop-outs;
- address girls in other places than the traditional schools;
- use web-sites appropriately, for instance creating fora;
- Ministries of Education should introduce education on gender equality and mainstream it in the school curricula.
There has been a lot of tension in South Eastern Europe during the last decade resulting from conflicts and wars. As a consequence, the UN police force and peacekeepers have been deployed in the territory. In this regard, the following issues should be prioritised:
- members of UN agencies should be adequately trained before going on mission (there are already some successful initiatives, for instance the one promoted by a Swedish NGO);
- take action to prepare a "Code of conduct" for staff deployed in field missions.
d) Long-term actions
- create employment especially in the rural areas;
- try to fund employment programmes;
- stop gender blindness;
- IGOs could provide assistance (e.g. ILO);
- fund ethnic groups to co-operate among themselves, so that they can negotiate;
- finance small municipalities to provide assistance to migrants.
Regionally, priorities should be:
Theme II: Assistance and Protection of Victims
Ms Madeleine Rees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, discussed the following topics:
· evaluation of the Bosnian experience: obstacles encountered and results obtained;
· longer term perspective: trafficking and its developments since 1995, its increase and the factors responsible;
· what more has to be done;
· co-ordination with competent bodies.
Ms Mara Radovanovic, Women's organisation "Lara", Bosnia and Herzegovina, presented:
· experiences of Bosnian NGOs: evaluation and perspectives;
· organisation of the network;
· problems encountered;
· co-ordination of NGOs action with other bodies.
Mr Grigoris Lazos, Department of Sociology, Pandion University, Greece, stressed the increase in the exploitation of foreign women in Greece for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Issues and proposals discussed in Working Group 2 (Assistance and Protection of victims) can be summarised as follows:
a) Victim support:
The major problem encountered by social workers is the attitude of the victims, who are usually in a state of shock, do not call hot-lines and do not complain. In this regard, it is necessary:
- to publicise, advertise more widely the help available (distribution of pamphlets, use of hot-lines, etc);
- to provide information in police stations about support facilities;
- to form an NGO network;
- to encourage collaboration between municipalities, local authorities and NGOs for training and shelters.
b) Legal Action:
Measures to be taken to protect victims:
- screening system to identify victims;
- legislation: change of status from offenders or illegal immigrants to victims of trafficking;
- lobbying decision-makers to change the system or, when it protects victims, to implement it properly;
- including protection of victims in social law even if the victim does not want to give evidence;
- decriminalisation in practice;
- access to legal advice;
- evaluation of the legal system in order to better protect access of victims.
Protection for witnesses and their families has proved to be very difficult to deliver, and rather unrealistic. 24 hour protection should be envisaged and international staff as well as NGOs should be used. They should act anonymously and be protected by police.
c) Assistance to and protection of victims (compensation and temporary residence status):
States should guarantee:
- temporary authorisation to stay;
- no time limit for residence permits for victims who wish to testify
d) Right of return and rehabilitation:
The main problem encountered is that, on the whole, women do not want to go back to their countries. In case they have to go back, the State should guarantee a proper legal framework for deportation of victims in respect of human rights standards. Furthermore, bilateral agreements between countries of origin and of destination are necessary in order to ensure human rights standards to persons returned.
If the victims stay in the country, the concerned organisations should create a network of reliable partners to assist victims in countries of origin and able to mediate with the families. The State should be involved as well and should co-ordinate the network.
Theme III: Legal Action (penal legislation and judicial co-operation)
Mr Paul Holmes, Metropolitan Police Service of London, focused his intervention on:
· experiences of the Metropolitan Police Service of London;
· obstacles in the implementation of the legislation in force;
· legislative changes that might be necessary to improve the situation in the United Kingdom, considered as a country of destination;
· co-ordination established or necessary within the country and internationally.
Ms Lavdie Ruci, Chairperson of the Women and Family Committee of Albania, emphasised:
· the development of the situation of trafficking in Albania;
· co-operation network to be established in Albania;
· the legislative changes necessary in order to better combat trafficking
Proposals discussed in Working Group 3 (legal action) can be summarised as follows:
1. Promote the political will of governments to tackle trafficking in human beings. Use the mechanisms and fora of the Stability Pact - such as the Task Force on Trafficking and the SPOC programme (Stability Pact Initiative against Organised Crime in South Eastern Europe) - to keep the issue on the political agenda.
2. Ensure the application of international instruments signed and ratified by Governments.
3. Take action at national level first. Do not refer action to the international level as a justification for non-action at the national level.
4. Establish multi-disciplinary groups at national level to ensure co-ordinated action against trafficking using a multi-disciplinary approach.
5. Establish trafficking in human beings as a serious criminal offence. This will facilitate mutual legal assistance, extradition, use of special investigative means, confiscation of proceeds, etc.
6. In view of difficulties with victim-led investigations, use pro-active, intelligence-led policing.
7. Complement each investigation with financial investigations.
8. Use pragmatic, flexible and cost-effective solutions to ensure the security of victims/witnesses.
9. Prepare a directory of contacts and a manual of good practices to strengthen operational co-operation among criminal justice institutions as well as networking with NGOs in South East Europe.
10. Enhance expertise and specialisation within institutions dealing with trafficking in human beings.
The reports comprise the following documents:
3.1 The National Recommendations by the participants, which are the result of discussions and analysis in the working groups;
3.2 Elements for a Regional Plan of Action to combat trafficking in human beings in South East Europe aiming to provide the basis for a regional strategy to combat trafficking in human beings;
A summary of responses to the questionnaire by all the participating countries according to themes appears in Appendix 5.
· assistance and protection of victims;
· legal framework;
· co-ordination and co-operation.
It should be noted that the information contained in the summary is not always complete. For full references, please see document EG/ATH (2000) 4.
The establishment of a network, within the framework of the Stability Pact, for coordinating activities in the fight against trafficking in human beings would be very useful.
a) There is a need for exchange of information in order to ascertain the situation and level of trafficking in each country;
b) Co-operation with police forces of destination countries where Albanian women and children are trafficked for prostitution should be strengthened and supported.
The establishment of national structures for co-ordination of activities in combating trafficking, between governmental authorities, and between the government and NGOs; a multidisciplinary approach should be encouraged. This cannot be done without political will
September 2000: drafting and approval of coherent legislation and administrative regulations, that make adequate distinction between offenders and victims and provide enough tools to prosecute and convict traffickers.
Harmonisation of legislation in the framework of preventing organised trafficking of women and children; the government and civil society should:
· undertake social and economic reforms, especially in the rural areas and in areas with a high incidence of trafficking in women and children for prostitution;
· promote income-generating activities for self-employment of women and girls;
· encourage Albanian and foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the country and to provide new jobs for vulnerable groups.
The Albanian government and donors should support the establishment of Rehabilitation Centres (shelters) for trafficked women and girls exploited for prostitution. Such centres should be of the following types, each with professional counsellors:
· specific shelters should be set up for Albanian girls exploited for prostitution inside and outside Albania;
· specific centres should provide assistance to non-Albanian girls in transit in Albania and bound for the prostitution markets of Western Europe;
· underage people should be treated in specific separate centres.
Education and information programmes should be implemented by the relevant education institution. The Ministry of Education, the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences should develop awareness programmes on the dangers of trafficking in human beings.
The written and electronic media are an important means in the prevention of trafficking and in sensitising public opinion, and should be involved to the greatest extent possible.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
In view of the evidence of severe abuse of human rights within the current practices of trafficking as a part of organised crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we suggest as follows:
1) continued support for current activities on combating trafficking just initiated to be undertaken by NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina dealing with this issue;
2) that meetings are organised with the State bodies to make the State accountable for trafficking issues – these should be supported by OHR, the UN mission and other bodies having appropriate missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
To implement the appropriate international instruments and laws, the human rights principles and Recommendation N° R (2000) 11 of the Council of Europe, we suggest the following plan of action:
Prevention of trafficking -1, 2, 3 of the paper on Prevention
To stress a victim-oriented approach and the protection of victims from the human rights perspective.
1) Prevention of trafficking
Affirmation of victim-oriented approach in public opinion, in various bodies of the same; quick start – deadline the end of 2000
2) Urgent analysis of the laws and practices in criminal law, law on protecting witnesses, migration and asylum laws and recommendations for changes in Federation and RS laws. Human rights experts, NGOs, international groups, other Human Rights organisations; deadline – the end of 2000;
3) Collecting data on the problem of trafficking;
4) Developing advocacy strategies and making pressure for changing the law with the active role of OHR in Bosnia and Herzegovina; deadline: first half of 2001;
5) Organisation of
a) Round tables;
b) Public discussions;
c) Broadcasting, etc.
regarding the problem of trafficking, to raise awareness of the problem among the general public;
6) Asking for transparency in law-making procedures through lobbying MPs (female and male) and women’s NGOs;
7) Asking for special police units independent of local police authorities with the possibility of to act on the whole territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
8) Asking for the establishment of co-ordination bodies at state level, consisting of representatives of governments of both entities, of OHR, NGOs, IPTF and others;
9) Conducting information campaigns for different target groups:
· women at risk;
· victims of trafficking;
· women’s NGO.
· Police, tribunals, health workers, social workers (there is a pilot project which is already underway on violence);
Deadline - long term, urgent.
11) Assistance and protection of victims:
· SOS – hot line;
· Legal assistance.
NGO, Helsinki Committee, deadline: 2001
12) Training of trainers
Who: local and international experts
13) Establish a permanent mechanism of co-ordination between States Authorities and NGOs
Last but not least:
Bearing in mind that there are no government representatives here, we suggest that the Office of the High Representative organises meetings of NGOs, Human rights organisations, and governmental structures regarding the problem of trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is urgent.
1. Education and training of police officers for first contact and providing reception and referring to support-providing organisation.
· changing the attitude towards victims of trafficking;
· skills for identifying victims of trafficking in women;
· tolerance and support to the victims;
· referral to NGOs providing care;
· partnership between Animus – La Strada and National Border Police Service.
2. Shelters – Providing accommodation for the victims:
(short term accommodation in cases of crisis)
(long term accommodation in cases of crisis)
There is a need for separate shelters for victims of trafficking.
Action to be taken by NGOs together with local authorities (municipality) as the latter provide buildings
3. Development of care programmes:
· psychological counselling and trauma recovery psychotherapy
· social support programme
· work in the community programme
· Humanitarian aid programme
· 24-hour help programme
Victims of trafficking suffer severe psychological trauma and an important part of their rehabilitation process is to help them to overcome the PTSD symptoms.
· Permanent action is needed
· Animus La Strada could undertake this action
4. Development of a network of GOs and NGOs providing support to the victims:
· Victims have various needs which are beyond the capability of only one organisation;
· There is a need for common policy and strategies for facing the needs of the victims;
· Action to be undertaken by GOs and NGOs; a leading NGO has to facilitate and initiate the process.
· As witnesses: assessment of the witness in terms of reliability and applicability and finding realistic solutions.
· Not as witnesses: providing legal status to the survivors as victims, not as offenders (decriminalisation);
· providing temporary permits for residence plus social benefit support by the State;
· victims of trafficking as a vulnerable group in the social laws.
2. State authorities with consultants from NGOs representing victims' interests
3. Social measures for victims in countries of origin:
· amendment of the social laws
· providing alternative job opportunity
· work-in-the-community aiming at tolerance and non-victimising attitudes
· development of care programs for psychological and social support
4. Ministry of Labour and Social policy (MLSP) and NGOs:
· Establishment of a network of GOs/NGOs in support of victims
· Training of different groups of professionals, capacity-building of local NGOs, adopting common policy and a Code of Conduct in work with victims
Right to return and rehabilitation
· development of minimum criteria for safe return;
· concrete return policy – legal provisions (human rights);
· development of concrete procedures for safe return between Bulgarian authorities and the authorities in the countries of destination;
· involvement of the national travel agencies.
· To collect data and encourage research projects to identify target groups;
· Involve the scientific and university staff in undertaking research into trafficking;
· Organise information campaigns aimed at increasing public awareness in general;
· Dissemination of information: leaflets, posters, videos on trafficking, in order to discredit trafficking and exploitation;
· Launch special information campaigns aimed at discouraging potential male participants in trafficking.
The Ministry of Education should:
· Include information on trafficking in the school curricula;
· Set up sex education programmes and human rights programmes;
· Organise information campaigns for target-groups: children, adolescents and potential immigrants;
· Organise training programmes for police authorities, judges, military staff, teachers and health personnel, social workers, consular and diplomatic staff so that they can react in an appropriate way;
· Provide special training for immigration officials and frontier police;
· Encourage employment projects, provide low interest credits for women entrepreneurs, provide special business training for women in rural areas and for vulnerable groups, who are at risk of being involved in trafficking;
· To improve gradually the economic and social status of women, favourable economic conditions including low taxes for employers who create working places for women in rural areas.
1. Include trafficking in women as a crime in the penal code (precision of the existing provisions);
2. Adopt international instruments/agreements and treaties) in the Bulgarian law;
3. Develop alternative methods for investigations and evidence other than witnessing;
4. Establish a body of representatives of the Ministry of Interior, State Prosecution Office, Ministry of Health, NGOs, etc with concrete competences to recommend to the Ministries and the Government legislative and other measures.
– Elaboration and signing of agreements for co-operation in the operative work and exchange of intelligence information with the countries of origin and destination;
– Creation of a Directory of Contact Persons (police, NGOS);
– Adoption of a Proceeds of Crimes Seizure and Confiscation Act and applying it in the combat against trafficking crimes;
– Bilateral agreement with EU countries on the issues of witness protection;
Involve international bodies (Stability Pact, OCSE/ODIHR, EC, UN):
– policy making;
– influence on GOs and state.
Using the pre-accession status of the country to push the State to adopt and implement international standards to combat trafficking in women and support victims.
Relevant investigations regarding trafficking in Croatia have never been carried out, and reports on the topic do not exist. The same can be said for the media and NGO work.
The Republic of Croatia is mainly a transit country.
People caught in illegal crossings and illegal stay in Croatia are accommodated in two shelters to await deportation to the country of domicile.
According to the Penal Code, trafficking is established as a serious offence and is implemented in 3 articles:
Art. 175: establishment of slavery and transport of slaves;
Art. 177: illegal transfer of persons across the state border;
Art. 178: international prostitution.
In the near future, probably in October, a new law on asylum will be finalised and presented in the Parliament. The proposal was prepared in co-operation with UNHCR. There is a need to prepare a new law on Aliens, and international organisations are asked to help, especially IOM.
Taking this into account, upon our return to Croatia we would recommend our authorities to take the following steps:
- to promote the Task Force on Trafficking within the Stability Pact;
- to inform our government authorities about the problem and the conclusions of the conference and try to influence them to start to work on this issue systematically, and try to gain a political will to combat trafficking in human beings (international problem);
- to propose the establishment of a working group within the Ministry of the Interior which will encourage other relevant partners to start to work on this issue (national body: relevant ministers, academic/professionals, NGOs, IOs);
- to encourage authorities to make bilateral agreements (help of IOM needed);
- to undertake co-ordination work on new law proposals (with international help);
- to set up a regional co-operation network of all relevant partners.
There is an urgent need for international help in:
- New shelters for aliens with a department for women and children;
- Technical equipment for border police;
- Specialised training of border police, custom officers, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, NGOs;
- Also we need special research and a public awareness campaign to begin to pull down the wall of silence around trafficking (international conferences, round tables, TV…).
A valid point made by Alexander Seger in the working group on legal action was that it is not good enough to have good legislation in place. We have to be able to monitor the effectiveness of the law by the number of convictions we get at the end of the day.
As far as legislation is concerned, Cyprus has enacted very recently a new law on trafficking (trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation of children law of 2000). Quite a number of key features which were discussed in the working group can be found in this law:
1. Trafficking is made a serious offence punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment, and in the case of a child victim an aggravated sentence of 15 years' imprisonment.
2. Trafficking is made expressly a predicate offence under the prevention and suppression of money laundering activities law, which allows the confiscation of proceeds of illicit trade.
3. Reversal of burden of proof: intent of sexual exploitation is presumed.
4. Legal status of the victim: the law provides for the grant of a residence/employment permit to the victim.
5. Appointment of a guardian/national rapporteur who is vested with a multiplicity of duties, including the co-ordination of various bodies/authorities involved in the anti-trafficking battle.
In structuring our recommendations, therefore, we considered this law and ways to implement it effectively in view of the feedback received during these three days.
a. Expedite the appointment of the guardian and discuss with the Minister of the Interior and the police the establishment of a multi-disciplinary committee Centre (either under or assisting the guardian) which will deal exclusively with trafficking. This committee may comprise representatives of the Ministry of the Interior (immigration), the Action Group, police, and of course NGOs.
b. Police investigators must conduct their investigations in close collaboration with the law office and receive directions so that every item of corroborating evidence to the victim's story is duly obtained and made available in court.
c. Again on the prosecution level, it is quite clear to our minds that important evidence in a trafficking case will include computer records, bank account statements, video/audio recordings and other documentary or computer evidence.
Under the current evidence law applicable in the Republic (we apply English evidence law, as it stood in 1914) presenting the evidence in court raises a number of technical/admissibility problems which at the end of the day may lead to cases being dismissed or convictions quashed.
From the point of view of the prosecution, and as representatives of the Action Group, we must take steps to influence the House of Representatives to accept our proposals for amending the current system. For a number of years, a Bill has been sitting at the House of Representatives, but with organised crime thriving it is now time for action.
d. Training of police officers and prosecutors: Although a special unit for money laundering has been established at the police headquarters, as far as trafficking is concerned police officers receive no special training. The same applies to prosecutors. With the assistance of the Council of Europe, in collaboration with the Police Academy, we would recommend and welcome the training of police investigators and prosecutors, and special migration officers.
e. Establishment of national/international contacts: within the working group, there was discussion of the establishment of a contacts directory. We would recommend that such a directory could be compiled also at national level and perhaps would be a task for the guardian or the multidisciplinary body to be established.
f. In the area of awareness raising, we believe in the dissemination of information from the early stages of education to children and teenagers. Sex education and human rights programmes already exist in schools but these could be reinforced by campaigns against violence and for equality of the sexes. Further, officers of the social services department and medical staff must be alerted the phenomenon so as to report to the police any cases of prostitution that may come to their attention.
g. Close co-operation of the Cyprus police with Interpol is crucial for the exchange of information on trafficking networks destined for Cyprus or using Cyprus as a transit country.
h. The judiciary also has a role to play. Judges, for their part, must also order a speedy trial of trafficking offences, especially where crucial witnesses are aliens. Delayed trials not only violate human rights but may affect the victim's evidence.
i. More women police officers could be appointed for the detection and investigation of trafficking offences, so that women could feel less inhibition in expressing their complaint.
j. Although the law vests victim protection with the government authorities, it is absolutely crucial that the NGOs of Cyprus are actively involved in this sector. We would therefore recommend that the participation of NGOs in the multidisciplinary committee be encouraged. The committee would actively assist the victim in obtaining immediate legal advice, medical care and securing a permit to remain in Cyprus pending trial.
Immigrant Support Action Group
The Immigrant Support Action Group (ISAG) is the only NGO in Cyprus which is actively involved in anti-racism and also in immigrant support services.
We do not as yet have the resources to offer specialised support services to victims of trafficking.
My presence at this seminar, and I take this opportunity to thank the organisation for their invitation to attend, signifies the willingness of IGAG to establish services, including a hot-line, a refuge and legal, psychological, social and other support.
Towards the establishment of these services we will seek the support of international organisations and the sharing of experiences with people working in similar services in other countries.
We would prefer these services to be independent of the state and we agree with colleagues who stressed during this seminar that victims are more likely to trust services run by NGOs, rather than state run services or the police. Nevertheless we do not exclude the possibility of co-operating with state institutions (as envisaged for example in the new law enacted in Cyprus) and with other NGOs, understanding the importance of and the need for a multi-purpose approach.
We will continue to pressure the State to introduce measures especially with regard to protection of victims and witnesses and to follow proactive measures to combat trafficking and especially to achieve prosecutions, aiming to alleviate the problem of trafficking which has reached serious proportions in Cyprus.
We stress that the making of laws is not enough, especially if it is not combined with effective enforcement measures.
ISAG will continue its social intervention in Cyprus society, aiming to raise awareness of the plight of trafficked women, which is very low in Cyprus, as a means of social pressure towards the establishment and development of adequate measures of support in line with what has been discussed and proposed at this seminar.
Finally, we stress the importance of the struggle for a more just and equal world centred on the elimination of poverty, wars and ethnic conflict, the main causes of immigration and of the vulnerability of groups such as women and children, which is exploited by traffickers.
THE REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO
Until recently, the problem of trafficking in human beings in Montenegro was absolutely unknown. However, we have come to the knowledge that there are at present several cases of “arrivals” of women from neighbouring countries or the countries of the former Soviet Union, the occupation of whom is the rendering of sexual services.
In such cases of trafficking, primarily in women and for the purpose of their sexual exploitation, Montenegro appears for the time being, and fortunately, just as a transit country.
We consider that the existing problem, throughout the period of the last five years of its constant growth, is at present extremely serious and large. Reasons for this are most probably UN sanctions imposed on the country, war raging until recently around us, enormous numbers of refugees and displaced persons staying nowadays in Montenegro, the presence of a large number of military forces in our neighbouring countries, an extremely unfavourable economic situation and overall impoverishment of the population, both in Montenegro and Yugoslavia, and the countries these women usually come from.
As Montenegro is not a sovereign country, there are therefore some formal reasons and obstacles to co-operation with the official authorities of other countries, though we have recently some very good examples of bilateral co-operation. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Albania have recently begun to co-operate in a successful manner.
Montenegro has political will and is interested in participating in the fight against organised crime generally, and more precisely against trafficking.
As a national delegation, we will suggest to the Government of the Republic of Montenegro the following:
a) the establishment of a multidisciplinary body for co-ordinated action against trafficking, to include representatives of the governmental departments which are dealing with this issue and representatives of NGOs;
b) the setting up of bilateral and multilateral co-operation with neighbouring countries and the other countries of the region for co-ordinated action in this field and certainly, development of co-ordination within and through the Stability Pact;
c) Montenegro is currently working on the harmonisation of its legislation with the legislation of the EU, so we will suggest and insist on establishing new institutes in criminal and penal legislation to combat effectively trafficking, (for example: institute for victim protection);
d) asking for international help and support, experts and financial, in specialised training of police, customs officers, social workers, NGOs …);
e) as regards prevention, we will suggest organising adequate information campaigns in order to inform and educate the public about the problem.
1. National governments, international agencies, UN etc must prioritise trafficking as a problem and recognise that, with regard to trafficking in women, these practices usually lead to sexual slavery.
2. The regulations to be adopted imminently by the UNMIK administration, which provide a legal framework for prosecution of trafficking profiteers, need to be widely publicised and accompanied by awareness-raising among the judiciary and police forces.
3. International agencies and institutions including, but not limited to, UN, OSCE, KFOR, I-NGOs must take action to ensure that staff contracts are accompanied by a Code of Conduct which makes the use of prostitutes on mission a dismissible offence. The actions of appropriate departments in headquarters to lobby for such a Code is essential.
4. International agencies with Human Rights mandates must give attention to full documentation of all women’s rights abuses.
5. Nations who send staff to international missions, particularly as part of NATO, UN, should take responsibility for education of these staff in all areas of women’s rights, including abuses such as trafficking for sexual slavery.
6. Regional funding and support for development of programmes for skills training and employment targeted at women in countries with high rates of women being trafficked out, particularly Moldova, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria.
- Harmonisation of all national legislation towards the same direction either with regard to decriminalisation or with regard to penalties, in order to eliminate discrepancies;
- The aim is to characterise trafficking in women as a criminal offence (felony);
- The establishment of a "presumption" for the persons condemned for trafficking in order to facilitate the confiscation of their property. More specifically, it should be considered as a fact that the property of such persons and the property of their family was acquired by trafficking. By the establishment of such a "presumption" the accused person will be obliged to prove that he acquired his property by other means;
- Establishment of a "one stop shop": the creation at national level of a department to confront the problem of trafficking as a whole. Such a department should include officials from all relevant Ministries (Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public order), with a specific range of authority (charges, protection of the victims and witnesses, penal prosecution, confiscation of property, etc);
- The establishment on a long-term basis of similar departments, starting from the border-land districts (decentralisation);
- Publication of the names and photos of persons condemned for trafficking. Black list at national level;
- Establishment of very strict conditions for the issue of visas for the countries of origin and of transit;
- Establishment of a network of lawyers to give free legal advice and legal assistance (including attendance before the Courts). Collaboration of the above-mentioned network of lawyers with the respective department and with the one-stop-shop system.
1. Promote awareness-raising and sensitisation of society to the problems of violence against women and children, including trafficking in women.
2. Ensure the continuous distribution of information concerning migration, employment abroad, visa requirements, residence permits, available victim-support services abroad (Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
3. Strengthen the multi-disciplinary and multi-agency approach of systematic data-collection and exchange of information in co-operation with ministries, embassies, consulates, NGOs, the police and other concerned parties (Council on Women's Issues).
4. Develop further the education, training and re-training of police personnel, teachers, immigration officers, media representatives and victim-support volunteers.
5. Encourage provision of specific information to minors, in the framework of basic school education on sexual exploitation and trafficking in human beings. Various age-groups should be specifically targeted (Ministry of Education).
6. Promote national and regional co-operation and co-ordination of parties responsible for the prevention and combat of trafficking in human beings, as well as support and assistance for victims.
Assistance and protection of victims
7. Establish a special reception centre for victims of trafficking in women with suitable standards of services (providing basic help, medical, psychological, legal and other necessary types of assistance).
8. Initiate co-operation with victim reception centres belonging to the region, with a view to obtaining and providing specific information that would assist the further support and follow-up of victims.
9. Focus on drafting complex legislation regarding the rights and protection of victims (Ministry of Justice).
10. Keep on the agenda the criminal liability of legal persons (Ministry of Justice).
We think that the focus must be put on legislation, but we are well aware that without prevention and without measures of protection of the women involved, we cannot get anything done. On these matters, the problem is often to enforce and implement existing regulations rather then creating new ones.
Where legislation is concerned, we think that in Italy we already have a fairly fine legal system that covers nearly all activities that can be performed by criminal organisations in this area. Since 1958, we have a special law on prostitution that punishes not only the exploitation of women for sexual purposes, but also any activity related to recruiting human beings in a foreign country for the same reason. This law was modified in 1988 as far as children were concerned and was made more specific and more severe on youth pornography, prostitution and trafficking in children.
This being the legal framework we have to work on in Italy, we do not think that we have to introduce new laws or new criminal offences on this matter. But on the other hand, we understand that a new law can be an important political statement (i.e. we want to be extremely tough on these matters) not only at national but also at international level, and can be perceived by other countries as an encouragement in their fight against the same problems.
We know that the way to get a new law passed is often long and slow and may take quite a few years. We know that the present situation in South-East Europe is such that we must take immediate measures. But we cannot ignore the fact that our house of representatives is now discussing a new bill that will introduce into our legal systems a new and special provision for the crime of trafficking in human beings. This general provision will cover any activity by which, through violence, threat or deception a person will be forced to move from one country to another, in order to be subjected to sexual exploitation or any other form of abuse that forces him or her into conditions of slavery.
We think that this new provision can strengthen and enhance our common fight against these criminal activities. Therefore, the first recommendation we would like to make to our government is to carry out this bill and to get it approved as quickly as possible.
But until the new law is put into operation, we had better work on existing rules and try to make them more effective than they are today.
In this perspective, we think that we should adapt a special Committee we have among government bodies, to act on the phenomenon. This Committee was given the task of monitoring facts and data. We think - and what we have heard at the present meeting can confirm this perception - that there is some kind of shortage of valid information on the scale and relevance of the criminal activities we are talking about. In our countries, we can see a lot of foreign women who prostitute themselves, often openly, but we don’t really know how many of them are involved in traffic and what is the true extent of the problem. This could be very useful in bringing out these problems and also to bring law enforcement agents, the police and the judicial system to do their duty as best they can.
In the field of prevention we can think about a lot of measures that can be taken to raise awareness of foreign women and their families and prevent them from lending an ear to criminal organisations. As we all know, Italian television can easily be seen in Albania and other neighbouring countries. It would be useful to broadcast television programmes and TV advertisements, just to inform women of what they face if they cross the border illegally.
We know that, at present, Italian public television is preparing some kind of advertisement to publicise a toll-free number, a free line to give information on these matters.
Also in the field of prevention, it would be useful to increase our official presence in foreign countries and to publicise all the administrative steps that are to be taken to enter - on a legal basis - our country. Too often, our diplomatic offices in foreign countries lack competent and caring officials and cannot really cope with the number of people who want to cross the border.
We should also recommend that our government provides, at home, police officers who are well-trained and capable of handling first assistance to the victims. This personnel has to be well-trained in order to change their approach and attitudes towards these matters. Women involved in this phenomenon should not be seen or treated as criminal offenders, but must be assisted and protected in case they want to change their present living conditions. It could be useful to use in these matters police officers of the same sex, that women can be more familiar with.
We also think that police officers ought to give the women as much information as they can. This can also be done by making free leaflets in foreign languages available at police stations. Above all, police officers must understand and make other people understand that they have to exert their rights like every other human being. We think that special attention must be given to minors involved in these practices.
As far as NGOs are concerned, we all know that they play a very important role, providing a great deal of help to victims of trafficking. We think that the government must improve relationships between NGOs and law enforcement officers, in order to enhance their capability for intervention. NGOs must also be protected, as much as the women involved, because they are often the targets of criminal activities.
Speaking then about relationships between neighbouring countries, we think that bilateral treaties must be implemented, in order to monitor the scale of the phenomenon. It would be useful to check periodically how many women go back to their countries and how many women after that fall into the same criminal network they had fallen into before.
Finally, in the field of assistance and protection, we would like to point out that, unlike most countries, we have since 1998 a very flexible tool that allows us to protect foreign women just for humanitarian reasons, if they are in danger from criminal organisations. It is important to note that this special tool is not linked to the co-operation the victims can give to the judicial system. We can grant the victim a temporary residence permit in our country and social and working assistance. We think that it is a very flexible tool that can be further implemented. We think that the effectiveness of this measure depends on complete information given to the women by government authorities. At present, women can go two ways: the first one is to denounce their pimps in order to obtain a residence permit until the end of the judicial proceedings; the second one is to ask NGOs for help. These organisations, which have agreements with the government, can ask for a residence permit for women who are in danger because they want to free themselves from the criminal network.
But in the end it seems to us quite obvious that the roots of the phenomenon of trafficking are mainly economic and that everything can be stopped very easily just by improving the present living conditions of our neighbouring countries. Therefore we think it must be recommended to our government above all to establish bilateral treaties and to improve the amount of the budget allocated. At the end of the day, we think it will be a great advantage, not only to our neighbours, but also to our country.
REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
Prevention and protection of victims
I. To establish the national strategy in this field:
1. Collect data at national level and improve information sharing between state bodies at the local and national level; promote best practices;
2. Promote training for law enforcement (police) customs, social workers and teenagers in school;
3. Promotion of awareness-raising campaigns;
4. Provide appropriate shelters and economic, psychological and medical assistance for trafficked persons;
5. Establish anonymous hotlines in order to increase reporting and identify victims of trafficking.
- multidisciplinary groups; co-ordination action of governmental and NGO entities;
- law enforcement agents, frontier police, customs service, welfare, health administration, Forum of Women organisation, etc;
- set up a national steering committee for training, information and preventing trafficking.
II. Improve the national legal base:
6. Destination of trafficking at local and international level;
7. Possibility for extradition of foreigner-offender;
8. Prescription for taking over the state border, for sexual exploitation and “enslaving persons”;
9. Improve legal prescription for prosecution and judicial procedure;
10. For anonymous testimony by witnesses, by electronic means;
11. Confiscation of proceeds of crime.
III. Apply international instruments:
12. To ratify international instruments on this matter.
The deadline will be established by concrete action plans at the national level (government, NGO fora, mass-media organisations, etc).
The problem of trafficking is unfamiliar to the general public and local authorities, the dimension of trafficking in women is still not known and can be evaluated only with difficulty because the information is scarce and hard to find through the official channels.
In Romania, there is no programme or official system for the protection of women who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, nor any programme for their social reintegration. Only NGOs provide counselling and assistance programmes for these victims. Unfortunately, co-operation between these NGOs and the authorities, such as the police and the prosecutor's office, leaves much to be desired. Co-operation among NGOs that develop activities in the interest of women’s rights (there are only 3 or 4 in Romania) also needs to be improved.
The most important and urgent problem – leaving aside the aspect of improving the legal framework – remains the social rehabilitation of women victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation which, until now, has been dealt with only by NGOs. We consider that the state must seriously consider this problem and become more involved in solving this problem, because attaining this objective seems impossible unless there is enough funding for projects that promote, empower and support the activity of Romanian NGOs.
The need to set up an action plan is due to the increase in illegal migration and organised crime at national and trans-national level and the economic consequences determined by the significant social changes after the 90s in most countries of South East Europe.
Actions to be taken are:
1. To complete the legislative harmonisation process at European level, including provisions for preventing trafficking and illegal migration. This is to be achieved by governmental measures, in the medium-term.
2. Identification at regional level of national competent structures, qualified to deal with the migrants and traffickers and co-operation between these structures for information and data exchange, collection and analysis. This action is to be undertaken on a permanent basis, by the Ministry of the Interior and the Public Ministry
3. Strengthening and intensification of border controls and customs controls according to European practice for preventing illegal migration and also the development of systematic information exchange between the border guards and other competent services of the State of the region. This should be undertaken by the Ministry of the Interior, on a permanent basis.
4. Harmonising policies for granting visas and practices for preventing illegal entry. Action to be undertaken by the Ministry of the Interior, in the short term.
5. Networking and co-ordination at the national and regional level of law enforcement agencies and magistrates with the creation of a contact point in each country. This action is to be undertaken by the Public Ministry, and will be an on-going process
6. Networking and co-ordination at national and regional level of NGOs active in combating trafficking. Action to be undertaken by Romanian NGOs, on a permanent basis.
7. Organising at national and regional level special training for judicial, customs and police personnel to enable them to identify different cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation and to respond appropriately. Action to be undertaken by the Ministries of the Interior, Education, Health, the Public Ministry, and Labour and Social Protection by the end of this year.
8. Creation of the legal framework and working conditions for the benefit of legal migrants. Action to be undertaken by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, by the end of this year.
9. Media campaign to inform women about the risks of illegal migration. Action to be undertaken by the Public Ministry and NGOs, in the short term.
Based on the assessment of the situation in the Republic of Slovenia and encouraged by the outcome of this seminar, the Slovenian delegation is going to recommend to the government of the Republic of Slovenia the following:
1. The setting up of an informed and formally empowered group of responsible persons from all the relevant sectors, including NGOs, researchers and media professionals
- assessment of the state of affairs in trafficking of human beings in Slovenia;
- review of relevant national legislation including its implementation and its compliance with the international law and instruments;
- formulation of the national plan of action regarding prevention, assistance to and protection of victims and legal action to be submitted to the government for its adoption.
Coordinating body: Ministry of the Interior
Time frame: immediately
2. Support to NGOs and civil initiatives to take over assistance, protection and rehabilitation of victims in cooperation with all the relevant actors
- identification of suitable NGOs and civil initiatives;
- organisation of their training;
- support in establishing co-operation with mechanisms of other European countries and international and regional organisations;
- support to their co-operation with relevant national authorities.
Coordinating body: The Governmental Women’s Policy Office
Time frame: by the end of 2000
3. Information and awareness-raising
- to encourage and organise activities to make media professionals aware of issues relating to trafficking in human beings and their positive and negative impact in this field;
- support to the organisation of information and awareness raising campaigns directed at the general public and target groups;
Responsible co-ordinator: the Governmental Women’s Policy Office
Time frame: By the end of the year 2000
“THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA”
Information campaigns intended to increase public awareness of the negative effects of trafficking should be organised;
Exchange of information among the countries of the region and compilation of statistical data of practical findings obtained in the field, sharing that data as necessary;
More documentation and leaflets on trafficking and the risks associated with sexual exploitation to be made available to the general public, media, foreign representatives, NGOs and school children;
Include more information in schools on equality between the sexes and respect for human rights and individual dignity as well as encouraging sex education in schools;
Developing training programmes to enable police personnel to acquire specialised skills in this field and to be able to respond appropriately;
Also, programmes between the officials working in this field and NGOs should be established to enhance the exchange of experiences in order to improve co-operation among them;
To introduce training programmes for immigration officials and police in order to be able to identify cases where there is doubt that it is a case of trafficking, make available immigration law in the country so that foreigners are aware of the requirements for legal migration,
Assistance to and protection of victims
Establishing a reception centre (transit) where victims of trafficking could be received and informed about their rights, benefiting from psychological, medical and social support in their own language;
To establish victim protection systems in co-operation with local NGOs and the police to combat threats to the physical security of victims and their families both in countries of destination and countries of origin;
Be more flexible regarding the temporary status of the victims of trafficking in our country. Legal framework to be established for granting temporary residence;
Better co-operation between Ministry of the Interior and the humanitarian NGOs in the country working on this matter;
Establishing a fund for financing the return of victims to their countries as soon as the safe house is set up;
More information to be provided to the victims regarding their working reintegration in their own countries.
Measures for suppression of smuggling and trafficking in human beings at national level
The starting point for undertaking any activities by the national institutions and services concerning suppression of any kind of crime including the smuggling and trafficking of human beings necessitates the existence of legal provisions where the activities concerned have been defined as dangerous for society and contrary to law, thus acquiring the features of criminal acts.
Within the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia there is no special article treating this problem. There are four types of criminal act within our national legislation partially covering this issue:
- illegal organised crossing of state border;
- illegal detention;
- establishment of slavery and transfer of persons in slavery;
In reality, the above represent no satisfactory legal framework to provide a thorough action for suppression of the new forms of criminal activities in the field of smuggling and trafficking in human beings, especially trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Bearing in mind the above, priority should be given to changing and amending the Criminal Code by which the new forms and phenomena in this field (trafficking in human beings) would be regarded as a criminal act. It would nevertheless contribute to creating the essential preconditions for combating such a crime in terms of:
- Creation of a unit within the Ministry of the Interior (adequate personnel, material and technical equipment, expert training and others);
- Co-operation at national level with all other institutions and services involved in this field (Ministry of Labour and others);
- Stricter visa regime in the sense of introducing a visa regime with states of illegal immigration (introducing consent policy as an intermediary stage);
- To establish a legal framework for a safe house (transit centre) for victims of trafficking, and a legal framework to obtain temporary residence for those persons;
- Conclusion of readmission agreements with a view to facilitating the procedures of returning.
1. To review the existing visa regime
By the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior
To be reviewed and changed by 2003
2. To tighten controls and checks and have thorough interrogation of persons arriving
By Ministry of Interior
With immediate effect.
3. To broaden co-operation with mass media with a view to awareness-raising
By Ministry of Interior
With immediate effect
4. To increase the number of bilateral security co-operation agreements especially with the countries of origin (44 countries)
By Ministry of Interior
5. To increase the training of police officers and border police
By Ministry of Interior
6. To invite NGOs, especially women's associations, to extend assistance to victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation
By Bar Association
With immediate effect
To establish the interministerial multidisciplinary Council on trafficking in human beings;
The existing comprehensive Programme on the Prevention of trafficking in women and children needs some amendments and additions;
Creation and implementation of social programmes:
in general for the improvement of women's position;
for trafficked persons in particular; open shelters; support; Department for Women's Affairs; NGOs; court authorities.
To set up contacts between policemen, social workers, to exchange their experiences;
To organise special training for: NGOs, Interpol, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Family Affairs;
To include special lectures on gender issues during training of the new teams of specialists (social workers, policemen, border police etc.). To pay special attention to courses on the prevention of trafficking in human beings in education programmes: Ministries of Education and of the Interior;
To strengthen information campaigns for the purpose of preventing trafficking in human beings: NGOs with Mass Media, State Committee on information policy;
To develop methods for collection of statistics and data on trafficking in human beings;
NGOs, State Committee on Statistics, Centre of Sociological research, border police;
To improve national legislation concerning trafficking in human beings in accordance with the international mechanisms.
At national level
1. Ensure the political commitment of the highest political authorities in each country, among other things, by using the mechanisms and fora of the Stability Pact;
2. Prepare and implement national Plans of action in each country, on trafficking in human beings, particularly for the purpose of sexual exploitation based on the fundamental Human Rights principles and in line with the relevant provisions of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (1979), the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international conventions such as the United Nations Convention for the suppression of the traffic in persons and the exploitation of the prostitution of others (1949), the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) and its protocols; and Recommendation
No R (2000) 11 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member States on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, in close collaboration with all government agencies concerned, with NGOs and other relevant entities of civil society;
3. Ensure the implementation of National Plans of Action by establishing and strengthening multisectoral national mechanisms entrusted with co-ordination, such as national groups/bodies composed of concerned Government agencies, NGOs and other relevant entities;
4. Encourage States to adopt and effectively implement national legislation against trafficking establishing trafficking as a serious criminal offence;
5. Encourage governments and NGOs to co-operate and complement their counter-trafficking activities.
II. At sub-regional and regional level
6. Promote and develop an active general co-operation process among the countries of South Eastern Europe, in accordance with Recommendation No R (2000) 11 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member States on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation;
7. Promote the co-operation and co-ordination among inter-governmental organisations acting in the region;
8. Encourage the international community to develop and promote bi- and multi-lateral technical co-operation and experience exchange activities with the governments concerned in order to increase their capacity to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings and protect the victims among the countries of the region;
9. Promote the Task Force on Trafficking launched under the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and facilitate its role as an instrument for collaboration, co-ordination and co-operation between governmental bodies and institutions, NGOs, international organisations and agencies in order to maximise the use of existing resources and avoid duplication of activities, including monitoring of compliance;
10. Evaluate, assess and monitor the activities undertaken in the region to combat trafficking with a view to ensuring better co-ordination;
11. Support co-ordinated action against organised crime in South-East Europe by participating in the Stability Pact Initiative against Organised Crime (SPOC);
12. Encourage the creation of sub-regional and national multidisciplinary specialised units to co-ordinate activities and actively combat trafficking;
13. Organise, on an annual or bi-annual basis, a regional forum for exchange, co-ordination and co-operation on anti-trafficking activities; this forum will be organised on a rotation basis in a country of the region, with the assistance of the international organisations involved;
14. Follow and encourage the adoption of the draft Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.
Research and data
15. Encourage the undertaking of relevant research on trafficking on human beings in the region, enabling the governments and the agencies concerned to respond appropriately;
16. Establish a regional co-ordinated mechanism for the collection and exchange of data and information, building on already existing networks and taking advantage of new information technologies.
17. Establish a regional committee, composed of NGO and government representatives as well as of representatives of intergovernmental organisations, to devise, launch and monitor a regional awareness-raising campaign aimed at the general public, on trafficking in human beings;
18. Develop specific targeted prevention campaigns, co-ordinated throughout the region, aimed at clients, potential and actual victims, including other vulnerable groups, eg refugee women, rural women and at the relevant professions dealing with all aspects of trafficking.
Awareness-raising and training
19. Organise, nationally and/or regionally, with the assistance of women’s organisations within political parties and interested members of parliament, a parliamentary discussion on the issue of trafficking in human beings, facilitated, if need be, by the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe;
20. Encourage training of governmental and NGO officials (eg police and immigration officers, judges, military personnel) on the issue of trafficking in human beings (in countries of origin, transit and destination), taking advantage of all available data combined with the development of effective protocols and procedures to be followed and implemented by the trainees;
21. Encourage states and governments to ensure that all employees and public appointees undertake their functions in accordance with the commitments made by the states to apply internationally agreed human rights standards condemning trafficking in human beings and develop codes of conduct in order to raise awareness and prevent abuses;
22. Encourage the sharing of current best practice training models and curricular material between the countries of the region;
23. Develop guidelines for teachers throughout the region on how to mainstream gender equality in education, including information on the realities and dangers of trafficking in human beings;
Ensure co-ordinated efforts to foster the economic development of the region and in particular to promote gender mainstreaming and the status of women in order better to combat the root causes of trafficking. In this context, a gender analysis of the activities/programmes in the framework of Table II of the Stability Pact should be carried out.
24. Ensure that skills training and job opportunities are developed for women in rural areas as an identified vulnerable group.
25. Promote co-ordinated measures in order to ensure reception facilities for victims (shelters) in strategic locations and in particular in countries/regions which do not have these, through building and supporting NGO capacity;
26. Co-operate internationally to improve the security of victims (and their families) co-operating as witnesses in criminal investigations;
27. Advertise nationally and in the region the means available for victim support (hotlines, reception facilities) through state institutions, consular sections, NGOs, police and international organisations;
28. Make use of screening systems to identify victims through co-operation between international organisations and governments and build local NGO capacity to address the needs of victims;
29. Encourage support for the creation of a network at the national, sub-regional and regional levels, of NGOs active in combating trafficking and supporting the victims;
30. Ensure long term, ongoing funding for all victim support measures.
Right of return and rehabilitation
31. Encourage States to make cross-border arrangements to ensure that the victim has the right to safe repatriation to the country of origin, and that victims receive all necessary support before, during and after their repatriation;
32. Ensure that all States in the region organise deportation procedures with respect for basic human rights standards and ensure minimum safety conditions;
33. Encourage bilateral agreements between governments in the region in order to ensure the safest mode of transportation when repatriating victims.
34. Foster co-operation between NGOs of the country of destination and origin and government agencies to assist returnees;
Special measures for children
Ensure co-operation between countries of origin and destination in order to organise co-ordinated social programmes for children at risk and their families.
35. Encourage bilateral and multilateral partnerships between the States of the region in order to combat trafficking, and support the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral agreements;
36. Promote the actual application of international instruments facilitating international co-operation in criminal matters, among other things, through training programmes;
37. Develop exchange of information between relevant law enforcement agencies on criminal networks operating in the region; promote on a regular basis, among the States of the region, exchange of information between agencies, institutions and individuals who are involved in trafficking in the region, and also identify methods and routes used by the traffickers;
38. Encourage networking and co-ordination at the national, sub-regional and regional levels of law enforcement agencies and magistrates with the creation of contact points in each country; as starting points: establish a directory of contacts, prepare a manual of good practices, ensure liaison with Interpol and Europol;
39. Promote mutual legal assistance, including sharing evidence, exchange of information, joint investigations undertaken by the prosecutors of two or more States operating together;
40. Encourage the conclusion of regional and sub-regional treaties setting the framework for detailed procedures and mechanisms to be established in order to combat trafficking in the areas encountering similar problems;
41. Enhance resources of government bodies and particularly law enforcement agencies in countries of origin and transit to investigate and prosecute cases including the provision of technical assistance and equipment.
Closing address by Ms Olöf Ólafsdóttir
Head of Division, Equality between Women and Men
Directorate General of Human Rights, Council of Europe
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This seminar has now come to a close. Before we set you free, allow me to say a few words of thanks to all of those who made this gathering possible.
First of all, our Greek hosts. Ms Efi Beckou-Balta, Secretary General for Equality, for understanding early on how important it was to tackle the question of trafficking in human beings within the Stability Pact. This is not the first event she has organised with the Council of Europe, and I wish to thank her sincerely for her commitment and active support. I also wish to thank all her staff, and especially our friend, Iphigenia Katsaridou, for her untiring efforts in organising all practical details and for choosing this wonderful setting for our discussions.
A very special word of thanks to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to Japan for their support not only for this Seminar, but also for other Council of Europe activities for combating trafficking in human beings. I also wish to thank all those international organisations present for having responded so well to our invitation and whose representatives have helped us so actively during the Seminar. Among these organisations, I must express my special thanks to our partners, OSCE/ODIHR and IOM.
My thanks go of course to the keynote speakers, to the facilitators and moderators, and our Chairperson, who have all helped us to deal with the subject in a constructive and practical way. I also wish to thank all the participants, who not only participated actively in the working groups, but who worked hard before the Seminar filling in the questionnaires which constitute a precious source of information on trafficking in human beings in the region.
Let me not forget to thank the Directorate General of Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe for having co-operated so effectively with us for the organisation of this Seminar. And finally, I would like to thank very warmly my own colleagues in the Equality Division of the Directorate General of Human Rights, Amanda Raif, who has worked very hard to organise your travel and prepare documents, on all the little details which are not always obvious to us but without which we simply could not get together, and, especially, I think you can all join me here, Sophie Piquet, who was the mastermind behind this Seminar and whose work has made it a real success.
Before we leave this room, let me make a few final remarks:
I am very pleased that we have managed to get together here so many international organisations to discuss how we can combat trafficking in human beings. For a long time, in the Council of Europe, this has been our wish, to create a space for this. I hope that this will be the beginning of a new era, when international organisations can co-operate effectively, without any duplication, without any competition, where each organisation can deal with issues within its own competence. This is how we can be most efficient, and I am sure that better co-operation among the organisations will contribute to the creation of political will to combat trafficking and enable the necessary legislative changes to be made.
Let me also say that having worked in the Directorate of Human Rights of the Council of Europe for quite a few years, I have followed closely the way the subject has evolved. When we first tried, ten years ago, to draw attention to the dangers of trafficking, not many people were interested. The subject was considered as unimportant in most member States, and also within the Council of Europe. We have had to work very hard, with great perseverance. We have had to battle for definitions, to convince our legal experts, to adopt – finally - the Recommendation (2000) 11 you have in your files and get the subject really on the agenda. It is not by chance that this is the first time we have benefited from the co-operation of our Directorate General of Legal Affairs. Trafficking in human beings is now on the agenda all over Europe, and the recent creation of the Task Force under the Stability Pact bears witness to that.
I wonder whether this political interest we now see is only because no-one can longer deny that trafficking has become a serious threat to democracy and security in Europe, that it has become a question of very big money and a full part of international organised crime. Let me then say that I think we would be making a big mistake if we were to see trafficking in human beings just as another aspect of organised crime, such as trafficking of drugs. We should never forget that we are talking about human beings who are being held in slavery; that we are dealing with people who have dreams, hopes, feelings, and who have been so seriously damaged that they can never fully recover.
This is why, as someone said yesterday, trafficking in human beings must be dealt with, nationally and internationally, by competent, informed and empowered people, who are fully aware that this is a human rights issue, that by fighting trafficking we are protecting the persons against a terrible violation of their human rights. Then I think we are on the right track.
Thank you all and have a safe journey home.
5. ASSESSMENT BY PARTICIPANTS6
On the last day of the Seminar, participants completed a form assessing its usefulness. The responses are summarised as follows:
Overall assessment of the seminar
Questionnaires completed prior to the seminar
The table shows that the seminar was highly appreciated, the majority of ratings are between good and very good. However, some remarks were made about the organisation of the seminar.
1. What do you think will be the impact of the seminar on your work? What will you do with the experience gained and the results of this seminar?
The answers show that the participants understood the aims of the seminar. The majority of them have a better and a clearer overview of the issue and they will start implementing the national and regional action plans since actions and measures to be taken are adequately and appropriately described. Furthermore, they pointed out that the seminar was very useful in order to start improving legislation on trafficking.
Several participants pointed out the benefits of sharing experience with other countries. In particular the opportunity of creating useful networks to strengthen co-operation and co-ordination was welcomed.
At a more specific level, prosecutors and police officers underlined the importance and usefulness of the intervention of Mr Paul Holmes (United Kingdom). It was helpful to listen to the investigation methods and also it encouraged undertaking investigations, sharing of information and co-operation with other relevant partners.
At academic level, the seminar was regarded as useful since it outlined issues that needed to be the subject of research and some of the topics will be included in additional programmes of Law Faculties.
Media will raise awareness publishing by all available information.
NGOs pointed out that the seminar gave directions/instructions for further work. The action plans were a good support for their activities and facilitated co-operation between them
IGOs will try to push the issue at political level, they will continue to facilitate co-operation between NGOs and governments, to respond to national requests for technical assistance, funding and political pressure. It was hoped that the conclusions of the seminar would be implemented through the Stability Pact.
At local level, the representative of the Committee of Regions of the European Union expressed the intention to start a political discussion.
2. To whom will you forward or distribute them to ensure that they are considered and implemented?
Participants in general proposed a broad dissemination of the national recommendations and of the regional action plan. The documents would be forwarded to the state departments of Ministries concerned by the issue, Interministerial Committees for combating violence against women or ad hoc Commissions in charge of reviewing the Penal Code.
Participants from women’s and human rights NGOs would disseminate the recommendations to the other members of their own organisation, including the focal points spread over the region in order to reach potential victims and groups at risk. Furthermore, the local media would be informed.
IGOs would forward them to other IGOs and to other bodies of the organisation, especially to the field missions in the Balkans.
3. Do you have any suggestions for future seminars?
Many participants proposed a follow-up seminar.
The proposals which emerged included:
· Preparation of a seminar focused on good practices already established and tested in some countries to be presented as an example for other countries, especially on the legal and administrative aspects;
· Specific seminars or training only for prosecutors and police officers;
· Specific seminars in the most problematic countries;
· Need for seminars focusing on legal action against the users of services of trafficked women (the clients);
· Specialised seminars in all the countries of the region;
· Intensify efforts to tackle concrete issues
Participants also recommended:
· smaller working groups in order to exchange experiences;
· more time devoted to the working groups;
· more focus on legal and administrative measures;
· specific action plans for NGOs;
· more leadership from regional actors.
5. Other remarks for future activities
· more concrete/practical field work in the region;
· activities for harmonisation of legislation of the Council of Europe's members;
· follow-up measures to ensure actions in bilateral and multilateral co-operation;
· setting-up of official commissions according to the special needs for help in the examination of issues of particular importance;
· comparative analysis of the questionnaires.
1. List of participants
2. Programme of the seminar
3. Recommendation No R (2000) 11
5. Summary of replies to the questionnaire by thematic issues
Ms Lavdie RUCI, Keynote Speaker, Chairperson, Women and Family Committee, Council of Ministers, Republic of Albania, Rr e Kavajes, TIRANA
Mr Arqile KOCA, Department of Foreign Relations, Prosecutor General's Office, TIRANA
Mr Engjell HYSI, Head of Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Public Order, Sheshi Skenderbej N 3, TIRANA
[Apologised for absence:Ms Eglantina GJERMENI, Executive Director, Women's Centre, PO Box 2418, TIRANA]
Mr Plamen ANGELOV, Legal Expert, Ministry of the Interior – Border Police, 46 Maria Louisa Bd, SOFIA 1000
Ms Mila IONCHEVA, Human Rights Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2 Al Zhendov Str, SOFIA 1040
Ms Nadia KOZHOUHAROVA, National Coordinator, La Strada/Animus Association Foundation, PO Box 97, 1408 SOFIA
[Apologised for absence: Mr Branko SOCANAC, Head of the Department of Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trg N. S. Zrinskog 7, 10000 ZAGREB]
Ms Dubravka NEZIC, Ministry of the Interior, Ilica 335, 10000 ZAGREB
Ms Lovorka MARINOVIC, TOD, Ulica Republike Austrije 19, 10000 ZAGREB
Ms Mary-Ann STAVRINIDES, Counsel of the Republic, the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus, 1 Apellis Street, NICOSIA 1403
Ms Marianna FRANTZI, Chief Inspector in Charge of Officers' School, Cyprus Police Academy, Police Headquarters, NICOSIA
Mr Doros MICHAEL, Member of the Executive Committee, Immigrant Support Action Group, Acropoleos 18A, GERI, 2200 NICOSIA
Ms Eftichia BECKOU-BALTA, Secretary General for Equality of the Sexes, Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation, 8 Dragatsaniou Str, 105 59 ATHENS
Mme Iphigénie KATSARIDOU, Hellenic General Secretariat for Equality of the Sexes, Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation, 8 Dragatsaniou Str, 105 59 ATHENS
Mr Grigoris LAZOS, Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Pandion University
Mr MANGANAS, Professor of Criminology, Pandion University
Dr Lenke FEHÉR, Ministry of Social and Family Affairs, Roosevelt ter 7-8, 1056 BUDAPEST
Mr Pál BÁAN, National Crime Prevention Council, Nemetvölgyui út 41, H-1124 BUDAPEST
Mr Zoltán TALLÓDI, Legal Adviser, Human Rights Department, Ministry of Justice, Kossuth tér 4, 1055 BUDAPEST
Ms Anna Lucia ESPOSITO, Department for Equal Opportunities, Via Giardino Theodoli 66, 00186 ROME
Mr Tommaso SCIASCIA, Member of the Interministerial Coordination Committee for Human Rights, Magistrate and Judge
Ms Nunzia ABBONDANZA, Giraffah, Via de Deo 71, 70126 BARI
Ms Galina CHIRINCIUC, Head of Legislation Department, Ministry of Justice, Str 31 August 82, MD 2012 CHISINAU
Ms Larisa MICULET, Head of Department, General Prosecutor's Office, Banulescu-Bodoni 26, MD 2005 CHISINAU
Ms Raisa SCORPAN, Forum of Women's Organisations of Moldova, 69 Stefan cel Mare bul, 2001 CHISINAU
Ms Carmen ANDRONACHE, Head of Office, General Directorate for Passports, Aliens and Migration Issues, Ministry of the Interior, Nicolae Iorga Nr 29, Sector 1, BUCHAREST
Ms Nicoleta GRIGORESCU, Prosecutor at the Supreme Court of Justice, Blvd. Libertatii no 12-14, sector 5, BUCHAREST
Ms Carmen GIRBEA, Equal Opportunities for Women - SEF Foundation, Strad Impacarii, Nr 18, Bl 913, Tronson 1, Apartament 1, IASI Cod 6600
Ms Violeta NEUBAUER, Counsellor, Women's Policy Office of the Government, Tomsiceva 4, 1000 LJUBLJANA
Mr Silvij SINKOVEC, Supreme State Prosecutor, State Prosecution office of the Republic of Slovenia, Dunajska 22,1000 LJUBLJANA
Mr Damjan KOROSEC, Faculty of Law, Ljubljana University, Kongreshi trg 12, 1000 LJUBLJANA
Mr Juri POPOV, Research Journalist, Rojceva 20, 1000 LJUBLJANA
“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
Mr Ulber LJUFI, Undersecretary, Department for Foreigners, Ministry of Internal Affairs, SKOPJE
Mr Blagoja STOJKOVSKI, Head of the Department for Foreigners, Ministry of Internal Affairs, SKOPJE
Ms Penelopa GJURCILOVA, Desk Officer, Multilateral Department – Human Rights Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dame Gruev St No 4 & 6, 91000 SKOPJE
Mr Erol ETÇIOGLU, Head of Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Disisleri Bakanligi, Konsolosluk Gn. Müd. Yard., Anit Cad No 12, Tandogan, ANKARA
Mr Mehmet TERZIOGLU, Head of Foreigners, Immigration and Passports, Ministry of the Interior, Icigleri Bakanligi Yabancilar Dairesi, Dikmen, ANKARA
Ms Fahrunnisa AKBATUR, The Ankara Bar Association, Women's Rights Commission, Abidin Daver Sokak No 17, Cankaya, ANKARA
Ms Larysa KOBELYANSKA, Chairwoman, "League of Ukrainian Women - Voters 50/50", 13/2, Ivana Kudri Str, KYIV 01042
Mrs Natalia MARTYNENKO, First Secretary of the Department for Cultural and Humanitarian Co-operation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1, Mykhaylivska Sqr., 252018 KYIV
Ms Inna SHVAB, Manager of Social Assistance and Victim Support, International Women's Rights Centre, La Strada, PO Box 246, 01030 KYIV 30
* * *
Bosnia and Herzegovina
[Apologised for absence: Mr Cedo VRZINA, Minister of Justice of the Republic Srpska]
Ms Nada LER-SOFRONIC, Member of the Steering Board, Women’s Human Rights Commission of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms Mara RADOVANOVIC, Keynote speaker, "Lara", Vuka Karadzica 1, 55000 BIJELJINA, Republika Srpska
Ms Aldijana TRBONJA, "Zena BiH", Trg Ivana Krndelja 3, 88000 MOSTAR
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Ms Sandra LJUBINKOVIC, Association for Women's Initiatives (AWIN), Kralja Petra 87, 11000 BELGRADE
[Apologised for absence: Ms Sevdije AHMETI, Centre for Protection of Women and Children]
Ms Danka LATKOVIC, Secretary of Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Education and Science of the Government of Montenegro, Vuka Karadzica 3/4, 81000 PODGORICA
Mr Vladimir CEJOVIC, Deputy Minister, Ministry of the Interior of the Government of the Republic of Montenegro, Bulevar Lenjina 6, 81000 PODGORICA
Ms Tamara DURUTOVIC, Women's Association of Judges and Lawyers of Montenegro, Centre for the protection of women and children's rights, Sloboda Street 10, PODGORICA
Mr Takashi EBASHI, Professor, Law faculty of the University of Hosei, 5-1-7-203, Hakusan, Aso-ku, Kawasaki-shi 215 0014
Ms Yuki IMURA, Special Assistant, Consulate General of Japan, Tour Europe, 20 Place des Halles, 67000 STRASBOURG
* * *
Ms Julie BINDEL, Keynote Speaker, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, University of North London, Ladbroke House, 62-66 Highbury Grove, GB-LONDON N5 2AD
Ms Linda REGAN, Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit, University of North London, Ladbroke House, 62-66 Highbury Grove, GB-LONDON N5 2AD
Mr Paul HOLMES, Keynote Speaker, Metropolitan Police Service, CO 14, Clubs and Vice Branch, Charing Cross Police Station, 224 Agar Street, LONDON WC2N 4JP
* * *
COUNCIL OF EUROPE BODIES
Congress of Local and Regional authorities (CPLRE)
[Mr Catalin CHIRITA, Mayor of the 5th Sector of the Municipality of Bucharest, Str Bd Regina Elisabeta 29/31, 7062 BUCHAREST]
* * *
Ms Patsy SÖRENSEN, MEP, ASP 08G273, Wiertzstraat 8 6 269, B-1047 BRUSSELS
* * *
Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights
Ms Gabriele REITER, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, Hessgasse 1, A-1010 VIENNA
Comité contre l'esclavage moderne
Mme Federica MARENGO, Chargée de Mission, Comité contre l'esclavage moderne, 4 place de Valois, 75001 PARIS
International Labour Office
Ms Gloria MORENO FONTES CHAMMARTIN, Junior Research Officer on Migration Issues, International Migration Branch, International Labour Office, 4, route des Morillons, CH 1211 Genève 22
Ms Marisol SANTAMARIA CARRILLO, Junior Research economist on Gender Issues, Gender Promotion Programme, International Labour Office, 4 route des Morillons, CH-1211 GENEVA 22
International Organization for Migration
Mr Marco GRAMEGNA, Head, Counter-Trafficking Services, International Organization for Migration, 17 Route des Morillons, C.P. 71, CH – 1211 GENEVA 19
Mr Daniel ESDRAS, Head of Office, IOM Athens, PO Box 430, GR-174-02 Alimos, ATHENS
Ms Elisa TSAKIRI, Keynote Speaker, Public Information Campaigns Specialist, International Organization for Migration, 17 route des Morillons, CP 71 CH-1211 GENEVA 19
[Apologised for absence: Mr Peter VON BETHLENFALVY, Regional Representative, International Organization for Migration, Rue Montoyer 40, B-1000 BRUSSELS
Mr Jan AUSTAD, Interpol, 200 quai Charles de Gaulle, 69006 LYON
International Catholic Migration Commission
Mr Kenneth PATTERSON, ICMC Country Director, PO Box 8270 TIRANA
Ms Sarah STEPHENS, Southern Balkans Desk Officer, 37-39 rue de Vermont, Case Postale 96, CH-1211 GENEVA 20
Ms Maraget LIDORIKIS, ICMC Director, 52 Kapodistriou Str, ATHENS 104 32
Ms Terpsi KAPETOU, ICMC - Greece
International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)
Ms Eva WIPLER, Liaison Officer, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Möllwaldplatz 4/3, A-1040 VIENNA
Kvinna till Kvinna
Ms Eva ZILLÉN, the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Tjarhovsgatan 9, 116 21 STOCKHOLM
Ms Rachel WAREHAM, Medica Mondiale, GJAKOVA, KOSOVA
Ms Annette LYTH
Ms Helga KONRAD, Co-ordinator, Stability Pact Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings, OSCE/ODIHR, Vienna Congress Centre, Hofburg Room 305, VIENNA
Ms Jyothi KANICS, Advisor on Trafficking Issues, OSCE/ODIHR, 19 Al Ujazdowskie,00557 WARSAW
Mr Eric FILIPINK, OSCE presence in Albania, Rruga Donika Kastrioti Villa 6, TIRANA
Ms Jo-Anne BISHOP, OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 5-7 Kartner Ring, A-1010 VIENNA
Stability Pact – Gender Task Force
Ms Sonja LOKAR, Chair of the Stability Pact Gender Task Force, CEE Network for Gender Issues, Andrassy 124, 1062 BUDAPEST
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Ms Alya SAADA, Programme Specialist, Sector of Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 PARIS 07 SP
[Apologised for absence: Ms Wassyla TAMZALI, Director, Mediterranean Women Unit, Sector of Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 PARIS 07 SP]
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ms Madeleine REES, Keynote speaker, Office of the High Representative of Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, PO Box 56, 71210 ILIDZA, SARAJEVO
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Ms Maria STAVROPOULOU, Protection officer, Branch Office, ATHENS
Mr Pablo ZAPATA, Protection Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Branch Office Tirana, RR Donika Kastrioti, TIRANA
United Nations Mission in Kosovo – Civilian Police
Ms Oonagh ENRIGHT, UNMIK-CIVPOL
Ms Yulia KRIEGER, Area Programme Officer, Area Office for the Balkans, UNICEF, Kolodvorska 6, SARAJEVO
Ms Jane GRONOW, Consultant, Area Office for the Balkans, UNICEF, Kolodvorska 6, SARAJEVO
Mr Pierre FERRY, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF, Rruga Arben Broci, Villa 6, TIRANA
Ms Judith LEVEILLEE, Assistant Programme Officer, UNICEF, Rruga Arben Broci, Villa 6, TIRANA
* * *
Ms Abigail BARBER, 2 Pump Court, Chambers of Philip Singer QC, Temple, GB-LONDON EC4Y 8AH
Ms Anna KOTROTSOU, Neustiftgasse 72, A-1070 VIENNA
* * *
COUNCIL OF EUROPE SECRETARIAT
Mme Ólöf ÓLAFSDÓTTIR, Head of the Equality Division, Secretary to the CDEG
Mme Sophie PIQUET, Directorate General of Human Rights, Administrator, Equality Division
Mr Alexander SEGER, Directorate General of Legal Affairs, Economic Crime Division
Ms Amanda RAIF, Directorate General of Human Rights, Administrative Assistant, Equality Division
Guests of the Greek Delegation
Mr Andrianopoulos, Chief of National Security
Mr Antonopoulos, GSE
Ms Arhondaki, Administrator, Ministry of Education
Mr Asvestas, Athens Police Force
Ms Bakalakou, GCE Central Council against violence
Ms Bata, Independent Women's Movement
Mr Bourlogianni, Marangopoulou Institution for Human Rights
Ms Daipanagiotou, Regin of Aegean Commerce
Ms Demegliotou, GSE Press Office
Mr Douridi, Migration Support Centre
Mr Drakos, Police Academy
Ms Fragopouli, GSE
Ms Gargala, Central Macedonian Region
Ms Gazi, Democratic Women's Movement
Ms Giakoumidou, Net against Violence
Ms Karimali, "Ethnos" Newspaper
Ms Karpodini, Educational Centre "Ksini"
Ms Katsivardakou, GSE
Ms Kolia, EOKF
Mr Lambathakis, Journalist
Ms Liakouli, Representative of the Thessalian Region
Mr Lidliamos, Ministry of the Interior
Mr Madikos, Police Academy
Mr Mallas, European Citizen Magazine
Ms Marouda, West Greece Region
Ms Mournianou, Research Centre for Women's Issues
Ms Papafotiou, Indepent Women's Movement
Ms Papaioannou, ADEDI
Ms Papatheondorou, Legal Employee
Ms Papastavrou, Ministry of the Interior
Ms Patsou, Marie-Claire magazine
Mr Politopoulou, General Administrator of the Ministry of the Interior
Ms Pouboura, GCE Central Council against Violence
Ms Repa, Greek Women's Union
Ms Roussi, Region of Ionian Islands
Ms Sakareli, GSE
Ms Sari, GSE
Ms Siamou, Working Centre for Equality Issues
Ms Skanavi, Organistion of Immigration
Ms Skopelitou, South Aegean Region
Ms Svolou, Feminist Initiative against Forced Prostitution
Ms Terpsi, Union for Women's Rights
Mr Tsovolou, Police – protection of the underaged
Ms Vendi, GSE Centre for Abused Women
Ms Zioga, GSE
Thursday 29 June 2000
11h00-13h00 Opening session
Chair: Ms Eftichia Beckou-Balta, Secretary General for Equality of the Sexes of the Ministry of the Interior, Greece
Introductory interventions by:
§ Greek officials
§ Ms Violeta Neubauer, Slovenia, Chair of the Steering Committee for Equality between women and men of the Council of Europe
§ Ms Patsy Sörensen, rapporteur in the European Parliament on the fight against trafficking in women
§ Ms Madeleine Rees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
§ Ms Helga Konrad, Co-ordinator for Trafficking under the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
§ Mr Marco-Antonio Gramegna, Head, Counter-Trafficking Service, International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
§ Professor Takashi Ebashi, Professor, Law Faculty of the University of Hosei, Japan
§ Ms Yulia Krieger, Area programme officer, UNICEF, Area Office for the Balkans
Introductory interventions should not exceed 5-10 minutes (in particular, representatives of partner organisations who will be given the floor again in the course of the seminar should limit their interventions to a maximum of 5 minutes).
13h00-15h00 Lunch break
15h00-15h15 Plenary session
Chair: Ms Violeta Neubauer, Chair of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men of the Council of Europe
Presentation of the seminar’s working methods by Mr Alexander Seger and Ms Sophie Piquet, Council of Europe
15h15-16h45 Presentation of the first main theme of the seminar:
Awareness-raising and information
Ms Elisa Tsakiri, Public Information Campaigns Specialist, IOM
Long-term action in the economic and social field
Keynote speaker: Ms Julie Bindel, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, University of North London
16h45-17h00 Coffee break
17h00-18h30 Presentation of the second main theme of the seminar:
Assistance and protection of victims
Keynote speakers: Ms Madeleine Rees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms Mara Radovanovic, Women’s organisation “Lara”, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mr Grigoris Lazos, Department of Sociology, Pandion University, Greece
Evening Dinner hosted by the Greek authorities
Friday 30 June 2000
9h00-10h00 Plenary session
Chair: Ms Sonja Lokar, Chair of the Gender Task Force of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
Presentation of the third main theme of the seminar:
Legal action (penal legislation and judicial co-operation) .
Keynote speakers: Mr Paul Holmes, Metropolitan Police Service of London
Ms Lavdie Ruci, Chairperson of the Women and Family Committee of Albania
10h00-12h30 Working groups
Three working groups will be formed, one on each main theme of the seminar. Each working group will report to the plenary session on 1 July. As far as possible, reports from working groups should take the form of recommendations
Working group 1: Prevention
Basic working document: chapter IV of the Appendix to Recommendation No. R (2000) 11
Moderators: Ms Ólöf Ólafsdóttir, Head of the Equality Division, Council of Europe
Ms Jyothi Kanics, Advisor on trafficking issues, OSCE/ODIHR
Facilitators: Ms Elisa Tsakiri, IOM
Ms Julie Bindel, University of North London
Working group 2: Assistance and protection of victims
Basic working document: chapter V of the Appendix to Recommendation No. R (2000) 11
Moderators: Ms Sophie Piquet, Equality Division, Council of Europe
Ms Jane Gronow, UNICEF, Area Office for the Balkans
Facilitators: Ms Madeleine Rees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner to Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms Mara Radovanovic, Women’s organisation “Lara”, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms Alice Marangopoulou, Professor, Chair of the Foundation for Human Rights, Chair of the league for Women’s Rights, Greece
Working group 3: Legal action (penal legislation and judicial
Moderator: Mr Alexander Seger, Economic Crime Division, Council of Europe
Facilitators: Mr Paul Holmes, Metropolitan Police Service, London
Ms Lavdie Ruci, Chairperson of the Women and Family Committee of Albania
Mr Manganas, Professor of Criminology, Pandion University, Greece
14h00-17h30 Working groups
17h30-18h30 Preparation of national recommendations
Saturday 1 July 2000
09h00-11h00 Preparation of national recommendations
11h00-13h00 Plenary session
Chair: Ms Violeta Neubauer, Chair of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men of the Council of Europe
Presentation of the recommendations in plenary session
Address by Ms Ólöf Ólafsdóttir, Head of the Equality Division,
Council of Europe
Closing statement by Ms Eftichia Beckou-Balta, Secretary General for Equality of the Sexes of the Ministry of the Interior, Greece
Appendix 3 - Recommendation No. R (2000) 11 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation7
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers, on 19 May 2000,
at the 710th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,
Bearing in mind that Europe has recently experienced a considerable growth of activities connected with trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, which is often linked to organised crime in as much as such lucrative practices are used by organised criminal groups as a basis for financing and expanding their other activities, such as drugs and arms trafficking and money laundering;
Considering that trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation extends well beyond national borders, and that it is therefore necessary to establish a pan-European strategy to combat this phenomenon and protect its victims, while ensuring that the relevant legislation of the Council of Europe's member states is harmonised and uniformly and effectively applied;
Recalling the Declaration adopted at the Second Summit of the Council of Europe (October 1997), in which the heads of state and government of the member states of the Council of Europe decided “to seek common responses to the challenges posed by the growth (…) in organised crime (…) throughout Europe” and affirmed their determination “to combat violence against women and all forms of sexual exploitation of women”;
Bearing in mind the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) and its protocols;
Bearing in mind the European Social Charter (1961), the Revised European Social Charter (1996) and the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a System of Collective Complaints;
Bearing in mind the following recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to member states of the Council of Europe: Recommendation No. R (91) 11 on sexual exploitation, pornography and prostitution of, and trafficking in, children and young adults; Recommendation No. R (96) 8 on crime policy in Europe in a time of change, and Recommendation No. R (97) 13 concerning intimidation of witnesses and the rights of the defence;
Bearing in mind the following texts of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: Recommendation 1065 (1987) on the traffic in children and other forms of child exploitation, Recommendation 1211 (1993) on clandestine migration: traffickers and employers of clandestine migrants, Resolution 1099 (1996) on the sexual exploitation of children and Recommendation 1325 (1997) of the Council of Europe on trafficking in women and forced prostitution in Council of Europe member states;
Recalling also the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) and other international conventions such as the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949);
Considering that trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, which mainly concerns women and young persons, may result in slavery for the victims;
Condemns trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, which constitutes a violation of human rights and an offence to the dignity and the integrity of the human being,
Recommends that the governments of member states:
1. review their legislation and practice with a view to introducing, where necessary, and applying the measures described in the appendix to this recommendation;
2. ensure that this recommendation is brought to the attention of all relevant public and private bodies, in particular police and judicial authorities, diplomatic missions, migration authorities, professionals in the social, medical and education fields and non-governmental organisations.
Appendix to Recommendation No. R 11
I. Basic principles and notions
1. The basic notions should be as follows: trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation includes the procurement by one or more natural or legal persons and/or the organisation of the exploitation and/or transport or migration – legal or illegal – of persons, even with their consent, for the purpose of their sexual exploitation, inter alia by means of coercion, in particular violence or threats, deceit, abuse of authority or of a position of vulnerability.
On this basis, the governments of member States are invited to consider the following measures:
II. General measures
2. Take appropriate legislative and practical measures to ensure the protection of the rights and the interests of the victims of trafficking, in particular the most vulnerable and most affected groups: women, adolescents and children.
3. Give absolute priority to assisting the victims of trafficking through rehabilitation programmes, where applicable, and to protecting them from traffickers.
4. Take action to apprehend, prosecute and punish all those responsible for trafficking, and to prevent sex tourism and all activities which might lead to forms of trafficking.
5. Consider trafficking in human beings for the purposes of sexual exploitation as falling within the scope of international organised crime, and therefore calls for co-ordinated action adapted to realities both at national and international levels.
III. Basis for action and methods
6. Take co-ordinated action using a multidisciplinary approach involving the relevant social, judicial, administrative, customs, law enforcement and immigration authorities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
7. Encourage co-operation, involving both national authorities and NGOs, between countries of origin, transit and destination of the victims of trafficking, by means of bilateral and multilateral agreements.
8. In order to ensure that these actions have a firm and reliable basis, encourage national and international research concerning, in particular:
the influence of the media, and above all new information and communication techniques on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation;
the clients of the sex trade: trends in demand and their consequences for trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation;
the origin of the phenomenon of trafficking and the methods used by traffickers.
9. Consider the establishment of research units specialising in trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
10. Take steps to develop, both at national and international level, data and statistics that will help to shed more light on the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and, if possible, compare the way the phenomenon is developing in the Council of Europe's different member States.
i. Awareness-raising and information
11. Organise information campaigns with a gender perspective in order to increase public awareness of the hazardous situations that may lead to trafficking and the negative effects of such trafficking and, in particular, discredit the notion that there are easy gains to be made from prostitution; these campaigns should be directed at all parties concerned, particularly female immigration applicants and women refugees.
12. Organise information campaigns intended to discredit sex tourism and discourage potential participants from joining in such activities.
13. Provide appropriate information, such as documentation, videos and leaflets on trafficking in and the sexual exploitation of women, children and young persons to diplomatic representatives, public authorities, the media, humanitarian NGOs and other public and private bodies working in the countries of origin of potential victims.
14. Disseminate widely, in every country, information on the health risks associated with sexual exploitation.
15. Encourage and organise activities to make media professionals more aware of issues relating to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and the influence the media can have in this field.
16. Introduce or step up sex education programmes in schools, with particular emphasis on equality between women and men and on respect for human rights and individual dignity, taking into account the rights of the child as well as the rights of his or her parents, legal guardians and other individuals legally responsible for him or her.
17. Ensure that school curricula include information on the risks of exploitation, sexual abuse and trafficking that children and young people could face and ways of protecting themselves; this information should also be circulated to young people outside the education system and to parents.
18. Provide both boys and girls with an education that avoids gender stereotypes and ensures that all teachers and others involved in education are trained in such a way as to incorporate a gender dimension into their teaching.
19. Organise special training for social workers, as well as for medical, teaching, diplomatic, consular, judicial, customs and police personnel to enable them to identify cases of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and respond appropriately.
20. Introduce and/or develop training programmes to enable police personnel to acquire specialised skills in this field.
21. In particular, set up specific training programmes and exchanges of experiences in order to improve co-operation between the police and the NGOs specialising in victim protection.
22. Also introduce training programmes for immigration officials and frontier police so that they can contribute to prevention by making sure that persons travelling abroad, particularly young persons not accompanied by a parent or guardian, are not involved in trafficking.
iv. Long-term action
23. Combat the long-term causes of trafficking, which are often linked to the inequalities between economically developed countries and those that are less developed, particularly by improving the social status as well as the economic condition of women in the latter.
24. Take into account in economic, social, migration or other policies, the need to improve women's condition and prevent trafficking in human beings and sex tourism.
25. Disseminate information on the possibilities of legal migration in order to make women aware of the conditions and procedures for obtaining visas and residence permits.
V. Assistance to and protection of victims
i. Victim support
26. Encourage the establishment or development of reception centres or other facilities where the victims of human trafficking can benefit from information on their rights, as well as psychological, medical, social and administrative support with a view to their reintegration into their country of origin or the host country.
27. In particular, ensure that the victims have the opportunity, for example through the reception centres or other facilities, to benefit from legal assistance in their own language.
ii. Legal action
28. Provide, where possible, victims of trafficking, particularly children and witnesses, with special (audio or video) facilities to report and file complaints, and which are designed to protect their private lives and their dignity and reduce the number of official procedures and their traumatising effects.
29. If necessary, and particularly in the case of criminal networks, take steps to protect victims, witnesses and their families to avoid acts of intimidation and reprisals.
30. Establish victim protection systems which offer effective means to combat intimidation as well as real threats to the physical security of the victims and their families both in countries of destination and countries of origin.
31. Provide protection when needed in the country of origin for the families of victims of trafficking when the latter bring legal proceedings in the country of destination.
32. Extend, where appropriate, this protection to members of associations or organisations assisting the victims during civil and penal proceedings.
33. Enable the relevant courts to order offenders to pay compensation to victims.
34. Grant victims, if necessary, and in accordance with national legislation, a temporary residence status in the country of destination, in order to enable them to act as witnesses during judicial proceedings against offenders; during this time, it is essential to ensure that victims have access to social and medical assistance.
35. Consider providing, if necessary, a temporary residence status on humanitarian grounds.
iii. Social measures for victims of trafficking in countries of origin
36. Encourage and support the establishment of a network of NGOs involved in assistance to victims of trafficking.
37. Promote co-operation between reception facilities and NGOs in countries of origin to assist the return and reintegration of victims.
iv. Right of return and rehabilitation
38. Grant victims the right to return to their countries of origin, by taking all necessary steps, including through co-operation agreements between the countries of origin and countries of destination of the victims.
39. Establish, through bilateral agreements, a system of financing the return of victims and a contribution towards their reintegration.
40. Organise a system of social support for returnees to ensure that victims are assisted by the medical and social services and/or by their families.
41. Introduce special measures concerned with victims’ occupational reintegration.
VI. Penal legislation and judicial co-operation
42. Enact or strengthen legislation on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and introduce, where necessary, a specific offence.
43. Introduce or increase penal sanctions that are in proportion to the gravity of the offences, including dissuasive custodial sentences, and allow for effective judicial co-operation and the extradition of the persons charged or convicted.
44. Take such steps as are necessary to order, without prejudice to the rights of third parties in good faith, the seizure and confiscation of the instruments of, and proceeds from, trafficking.
45. Facilitate police investigation and monitoring of establishments in which victims of trafficking are exploited and organise their closure if necessary.
46. Provide for rules governing the liability of legal persons, with specific penalties.
47. Provide for traffickers to be extradited in accordance with applicable international standards, if possible, to the country where evidence of offences can be uncovered.
48. Establish rules governing extra-territorial jurisdiction to permit and facilitate the prosecution and conviction of persons who have committed offences relating to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, irrespective of the country where the offences were committed, and including cases where the offences took place in more than one country.
49. In accordance with national laws concerning the protection of personal data, as well as with the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, set up and maintain information systems which could be useful for the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offences.
VII. Measures for co-ordination and co-operation
i. At national level
50. Set up a co-ordinating mechanism responsible for drawing up the national policy on combating trafficking and organising a multidisciplinary approach to the issue.
51. Use this mechanism to encourage the exchange of information, the compilation of statistics and the assessment of practical findings obtained in the field, trends in trafficking and the results of national policy.
52. Use this mechanism to liaise with mechanisms of other countries and international organisations in order to co-ordinate activities, and to monitor, review and implement national and international strategies aimed at combating trafficking;
ii. At international level
53. As far as possible, make use of all the available international instruments and mechanisms applicable to trafficking, particularly regarding the seizure and confiscation of profits earned from trafficking.
54. Set up an international body to co-ordinate the fight against trafficking, with particular responsibility for establishing a European file of missing persons, in accordance with national laws concerning the protection of personal data.
55. Increase and improve exchanges of information and co-operation between countries at bilateral level as well as through international organisations involved in combating trafficking.
56. Governments are invited to consider signing and ratifying, if they have not already done so, the Council of Europe's Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (1990), the Revised European Social Charter (1996) and the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a System of Collective Complaints (1995), the European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights (1996), the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women (1979) and its Optional Protocol (1999), as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and/or to consider withdrawing existing reservations to these instruments.
57. Governments are invited to incorporate into their national systems all the measures necessary to apply the principles and standards laid down in the Action Programme adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women (Beijing, 4-15 September 1995), and in particular Part IV.D, and the agreed conclusions adopted at the 42nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the resolution adopted regularly by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Traffic in Women and Girls, the declaration adopted at the Ministerial Conference containing European Guidelines for Measures to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Women for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation (The Hague, 24-26 April 1997), as well as in the following recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to the member states of the Council of Europe: Recommendation No. R (80) 10 on measures against the transfer and the safekeeping of funds of criminal origin, Recommendation No. R (85) 11 on the position of the victim in the framework of criminal law and procedure and Recommendation No. R (87) 21 on assistance to victims and the prevention of victimisation.
Appendix 4 - QUESTIONNAIRE
Information concerning the person completing the questionnaire:
Surname, First Name:
How long has your organisation been in existence? Is it linked with government or political institutions? Number of staff?
How does your organisation contribute to combating trafficking in human beings?
Geographical area covered (local/regional/national/international):
Does your organisation co-operate with other bodies involved in anti-trafficking activities?
Please answer the following questions on a separate page:
Please describe briefly the trafficking situation in your country. The questions listed below aim to facilitate the description of the situation regarding trafficking. You do not need to answer all of the questions if you do not have the information available.
How does trafficking happen?
Does trafficking take place to, from, within or through your country? Is your country a sending country (country from which women are trafficked), a receiving country (country to which women are trafficked), a transit country (country through which women are trafficked).
For which purposes is trafficking organised? (sexual exploitation, domestic labour, marriage, other situations, which)?
If your country is a transit or receiving country, what are the countries of origin of the trafficked persons?
What are the “recruiting” methods used by the traffickers (promise of work, promise of marriage, false job-contracts, false marriage contracts, kidnapping, other)?
Estimated figures: how many persons are trafficked/year (if possible, please make a distinction between number of women and men)?
What age are the persons trafficked, in average?
Do you think that trafficking is a serious issue in your country?
Do you think that trafficking in your country has increased over the last 5 years?
If so, what are the reasons of this increase?
(please see provisions in chapter IV of the Appendix to the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe)
Which measures have been taken to prevent trafficking (information campaigns, measures in the fields of education, training, long-term action)?
Which bodies are responsible for adopting these measures and implementing them?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the present system in view of preventing trafficking?
What would need to be done to improve prevention of trafficking?
Assistance to and protection of victims
(please see provisions in chapter V of the Appendix to the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe)
Do specific structures exist in order to assist victims of trafficking (reception centres, shelters, other facilities)?
What kind of assistance is provided to the victims (information on their rights, psychological, medical, social, administrative)?
Are special protection/special residence permits granted to victims who wish to testify in legal proceedings?
Are there special programmes aimed at facilitating rehabilitation and social reintegration of victims?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the present system?
What would need to be done to improve your country’s ability to assist victims of trafficking?
(Please see provisions in chapter VI of the Appendix to the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe)
Does the legislation of your country contain specific provisions prohibiting trafficking in human beings?
Any other legislation which may be applicable?
How is prostitution considered in legislation? For nationals? For migrants?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the present legal system?
What would need to be done to improve your country’s legal system in order to better combat trafficking?
The information requested below is very important for the preparation of the Seminar. Please answer these questions, even if you did not answer all the others
Co-ordination and Co-operation
(Please see chapter VII of the Appendix to the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe)
Is there a lead agency or an institution or a mechanism to co-ordinate the fight against trafficking at national level? If yes, please describe it (legal basis, composition, function)
Have other groups been set up to co-ordinate action against other forms of organised crime (drugs, money laundering, etc.)?
Are NGOs involved in combating trafficking? How many? What is their role?
How are the exchanges of information on trafficking organised in your country? Are statistics, practical findings, and trends in trafficking available?
Are your national bodies co-operating with bodies of other countries? If so, which countries?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the present system in view of co-ordination and co-operation between agencies within your country?
What should need to be done to improve co-ordination and co-operation between agencies in your country?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the present system in view of international co-operation?
In view of regional co-operation?
In view of bilateral co-operation?
What would need to be done to improve your country’s ability to co-operate at these different levels?
Several measures have been taken in order to prevent trafficking:
- information campaigns;
- education in collaboration with NGOs;
- training of staff;
- creation of a new structure within the Ministry of Public Order dealing specifically with trafficking;
- seminars in co-operation with different NGOs;
- police actions against criminal groups.
The Departments responsible for adopting these measures are the Department of Criminal Police and Department of Border Police.
The strength of the present system is the willingness to fight trafficking, while the weakness is the lack of experience, equipment and effective co-operation in the region.
In order to improve the prevention of trafficking the following are necessary:
- a clear national strategy;
- co-ordination of all the organisations in Albania;
- training of people working on this subject;
- exchange of information with neighbouring countries;
- in the long-term, economical development, especially in the rural areas.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
No measures to prevent trafficking have been taken.
The bodies responsible for adopting and implementing these measures are the governments of both the entities (Federation and Republika Srpska).
The weaknesses of the present system in view of preventing trafficking are corruption and lack of rules of law. The strengths are the presence and the big influence of the international community in BIH.
In order to improve prevention of trafficking the following measures should be taken: dissemination of information and educational material, changing the law, raising public awareness, creating a special police department dealing with trafficking, organising shelter for victims and their return home. In the long term, education on human rights issues and specific research.
Measures taken in order to prevent trafficking:
- information campaigns with a gender perspective;
- appropriate information: leaflets, videos, posters;
- activities to make media professionals more aware of trafficking;
- educational programme in schools;
- special training for social workers, teachers and NGOs activists;
- round table to exchange experiences in order to improve co-operation between police and NGOs specialised in victim protection.
Educational authorities, the Ministry of the Interior and some governmental agencies are responsible for adopting strategies on prevention of trafficking. These institutions in co-operation with some international organisations are implementing some programmes.
IOM and Animus/La Strada are working on prevention of trafficking.
The strength of the above-mentioned measures is that they are based on experience in direct work with women survivors so that the messages are clear, accessible, well accepted by the potential victims. Moreover, the material is attractive and empowering, not didactic, restrictive and scary.
The weakness is that prevention is focused on NGOs sector and resources of the State are not used. Furthermore, trafficking is a delicate and multidisciplinary issue that requires special competence in formulating appropriate messages.
In order to improve the prevention of trafficking the following is necessary:
- specific training for medical and police personnel;
- national and regional policies;
- actions aimed at improving the economic conditions and the social status of the potential victims.
The main area of concern for trafficking in Cyprus concentrates on the recruitment of women from the Orient and Eastern Europe as artists in the night-clubs.
Under the present system their employment is regulated by the Aliens and Immigration Legislation as well as by certain Administrative Orders (Policy) issued by the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with other governmental authorities. The purpose of such policy is to establish safeguards for the legal protection of these women against exploitation by their employers, especially to prevent the promotion of prostitution.
Officers of the Police Immigration Department visit cabarets and encourage women to report any violations of the law or breach of their contract. Occasionally they are called to appear before the competent government department for inquiries into their working conditions.
Police investigate complaints made by women and where adequate evidence exists, the offender is brought before the justice.
The strength of the present system, especially with the enactment of the new law (Law 3(1)/2000 -"the Combating of Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Exploitation of Children Law of 2000-), is that, if applied strictly, it can effectively combat trafficking and regulate the living and working conditions of these women.
The weakness is that some isolated incidents of corruption of officials create bad precedents, which encourage organised crime and damage the credibility of the authorities and of the whole system.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Montenegro
The Ministry of Education, in the educational curricula, provides for the teaching of equality of opportunities between men and women and against violence of any kind.
Information campaigns have not yet been seriously initiated and some brief reports occasionally appear in the press.
Action should soon be started by a group of NGOs as well as by the OSCE Podgorica Office.
In order to prevent trafficking in human beings, information campaigns are organised in the media by governmental bodies and educational courses are carried out. The Ministry of Justice has a drafting programme concerning the victim's rights. The most important example is an EU-IOM joint project on prevention of trafficking through a massive information campaign using the media. Also seminars and training are held in a systematic way.
The bodies responsible are the Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Education, Social and Family Matters, Young People and Sports and other competent authorities (Police, Customs). However the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) plays a major role in co-ordinating the actions of the various departments concerned.
The weaknesses of the present system are the lack of adequate legislation and of human and financial resources. It would be helpful to strengthen the co-ordination among the above-mentioned Ministries.
The strengths of the system consist of penal code sanctions and of governmental measures.
In order to improve the present system it would be highly recommendable to increase the collection of data, to widen access to education, to improve the standard of the relevant legislation and to increase the level of co-operation.
In order to prevent trafficking, information campaigns have been organised, especially advertising campaigns through television spots in Italy and in Albania (country of origin of many victims). The Italian Government has financed these information campaigns in the countries of origin. Italy has funded training projects for young Albanian girls in order to improve the social status of women.
The responsible bodies are the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Interior and Social Affairs. At non-governmental level, Telenorba Shiptare, Telenorba (TV channel in Bari) in Italy and the Forum of Albanian Women are responsible for the implementation.
In order to improve the prevention of trafficking it is necessary to improve the economic situation in the victims' countries of origin and the co-ordination of police networks. It is also important to disseminate information on the possibilities of legal migration and on the procedures to obtain legal visas and residence permits.
In 1998 a Forum of Women's Organisations was established with the aim of improving the status of women. At present more than 100 NGOs are members of the Forum and many of them are dealing with violence, prostitution and trafficking in women. They mostly focus on prevention and the following activities are usually on their agenda:
- educational programmes;
- seminars, round tables, training;
- information campaigns by publishing bulletins, booklets, videos on trafficking.
In Romania there is little activity on prevention, usually just mass-media campaigns and measures in the field of education as well as long-term police actions. The Institute for Research and Crime Prevention should be responsible for adopting and implementing them.
The long-term actions against trafficking are the programmes of COMBAT and SEF.
This lack of a coherent programme of prevention and the fact that trafficking is not considered as a priority are the weakness of the present system.
As a consequence, in the field of prevention of trafficking, different structures involving various specialists should be set up. Information campaigns should be organised at national level for the groups at risk, especially in schools, universities and orphanages, in order to inform and to raise awareness. Furthermore, Romania has to complete the legislative harmonisation process at European level, including the provisions on preventing trafficking.
Long term measures have to be taken, especially in the field of human rights. Education and media campaigns could be especially useful.
“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” has already received draft projects from IOM on anti-trafficking in the spheres of prevention, awareness-raising, capacity building and facilitating that should be carried out in the next months.
In the field of prevention, administrative measures have been taken to prevent illegal transit and the personnel responsible are regularly trained. State borders should be reinforced and legislation amended to tackle illegal migration.
The responsible bodies are the Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Health, Foreign Affairs, General Staff and Coast Guard.
In order to improve the prevention of trafficking, international solidarity should be reinforced and the international organisations should allocate funds for the countries that prepared specific projects.
Media information campaigns have been carried out, but unfortunately for a short period. Their aims were to spread information at embassies, airports and railway stations. Particular attention has been paid to school programmes. Furthermore, help lines have been opened. Adequate material and brochures have been delivered, and research is ongoing as well as workshops, conferences and round tables.
The State Committee was in charge of co-ordination in the prevention of trafficking before the reform. The responsibilities now lie with different Ministries according to their competencies (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Education, Labour, Ombudsman of the Verkhovna Rada on Human Rights, Law, Security Services…).
The system is being created but the community has showed an active interest. The weaknesses of the present system are the lack of permanent state support and the length of fulfilment of the programmes.
In order to improve the present system, the following measures should be taken: amendments to the legislation, tackling unemployment and increasing salaries, access to education and information especially for young people living in the countryside, appropriate databases, providing good protection for victims.
Assistance and protection of victims
There are a few special centres where victims are provided with medical and psychological assistance, but this is not enough.
In order to improve the present system Albania needs shelters and more co-operation activities with the countries of origin of the victims.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
No specific structures to assist victims exist. However, within the RING network these structures will soon be available.
No assistance (information on their rights, psychological, medical, social…) is provided for victims, except from the RING network.
No special protection/residence permits are granted to victims who wish to testify in legal proceedings.
Finding financial resources, establishing institutional mechanisms and using experiences of other countries would be needed in order to improve the country's ability to assist victims of trafficking.
Women's NGOs are organising rehabilitation centres to assists victims. At present, the only specific structure that exists to assist and to support victims is a special Care Programme within the Centre for rehabilitation of women victims of violence set up by Animus/La Strada.
The following programmes are provided for victims' assistance:
- counselling programme for psychological support and coping with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (identifying the abuse and assessing the danger with the victim, crisis intervention, plan for security in case of danger, long term psychotherapy, counselling the victims' families)
- social programme for rehabilitation (meeting the woman and working out a plan facing her needs, arranging shelter, co-operation during the time of issuing new identity documents, assistance for return home, search for a job, support in contacting other services aimed at avoiding a re-traumatising attitude).
- urgent humanitarian aid programme (shelter, food, basic items, children's items if required).
- 24 hour help-line for support for women victims of violence (listening, support, identifying the problem, exploring alternatives and offering information).
No special protection/residence permit is offered to victims who wish to testify in legal proceedings.
The strength of the present system is its implementation by a team of professionals on trauma recovery even though this support is only for a certain period of time when the women are in deep crisis.
However, that is the only programme, and in the country there are no well-developed structures the victims can turn to. Other weaknesses of the system are the moralising and victimising attitudes of society. The social legislation does not distinguish victims as a particularly vulnerable group and they do not take any legal action against the traffickers since they fear for their lives. They cannot live on their own because they risk getting involved in trafficking again.
In order to improve the country's ability to assist women, some measures should be taken:
- victims of trafficking have to be recognised by the State as a specific group to be reintegrated in society;
- social legislation;
- effective mechanisms for witness protection and compensation.
The new Law 3(1)/2000 ("the Combating of Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Exploitation of Children Law of 2000") provides for special protection of persons being victims of sexual exploitation and for related matters.
Section 7 creates a responsibility on the State to grant the victim reasonable protection and support, which in a proper case may extend to protection in testifying in judicial proceedings against the perpetrators (a draft Bill on witness protection is currently under preparation).
According to Section 10, the Council of Ministers may, if the Ministry of Interior recommends it, appoint a guardian of the victim (his competence is enlisted in section 11).
Section 9 envisages that where an alien who has legally entered the Republic is forced to give up his/her employment on account of illegal exploitation or cruel treatment by the person who applied for his/her employment in Cyprus, he/she may apply to the Minister of the Interior for a permit under a different employer.
The above-mentioned Law is very new (it came into force at the beginning of the year). It is therefore too early to form an opinion on the gaps and flaws of the law.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Montenegro
There are no receiving centres or shelters for victims of trafficking. Only one NGO involved in women's issues runs a Safe House for women.
Support for victims of trafficking is minimal and only consists of medical care in cases of injury or illness. There is not one single refuge or place where victims can find psychological support. Victims are usually expelled as quickly as possible to their country of origin.
NGOs are constantly lobbying to influence policies but unfortunately receive no funding to be able to provide any systematic or substantial assistance to the victims.
The creation of support centres for victims, especially those who are in need of physical and psychological treatment and those who want to testify in court, is absolutely necessary.
Special structures exist, such as reception centres, shelters and NGOs dealing with this matter.
Authorities and NGOs provide this type of assistance covering all possible aspects ranging from information to medical, psychological and financial assistance.
The Hungarian penal code envisages special protection for victims who wish to testify in legal proceedings (Resolution on the "Legislation task force and other measures to be introduced in the field of prevention of victims of crime and their relatives and on the compensation of the victim", adopted in June 1999). This does not include victims of trafficking directly, however if violence is used against them, they might be compensated as victims of violent crimes against persons.
Moreover, the "Alien Act" envisages the possibility of suspending an expulsion order against foreign prostitutes who are illegal immigrants if they wish to co-operate with the criminal justice against traffickers.
The physical protection of persons was ensured by Governmental Decree of March 1999. The Hungarian national law provides protection also for the relatives of the persons in danger.
However, practical measures of witness protection are still under preparation since personnel must be appropriately trained and apposite services have to be created within the Police Units.
Many NGOs are dealing with a special programme for reintegration of victims and a new department (Office for Victim Protection) has been established within the Ministry of the Interior, which co-ordinates tasks concerning the protection of victims and keeps contacts with NGOs.
Additional human and financial resources are needed for a better implementation of these programmes.
In the North and in the Centre of Italy, there are many structures to assist victims, such as reception centres and shelters. The Equal Opportunities Department provides a national toll free number linked to 15 local call centres in order to give information to victims of trafficking.
Safe houses exist to assist victims of trafficking, as well as a help-line.
All kinds of assistance are provided to the victims (information on their rights, psychological, medical, social, administrative and legal assistance and integration).
The Italian legislation on trade in human beings contains provisions aimed at protecting victims and integrating them into society as well as provisions that impose criminal penalties on the people responsible for, and the perpetrators of, traffic in human beings. A special six-month residence permit is to be issued to foreigners victims of trafficking according to article 18 of the "Consolidation Act of the provisions concerning the regulation of immigration and law rules on the condition of foreigners (Legislative Decree of 25 July 1998, n. 286)".
Articles 25 and 26 of the Rules for the Implementation of the Consolidation Act sets out procedures and bodies in charge of allocating funds for social integration programmes. The latter are carried out by private entities or local bodies.
Special programmes aimed at facilitating rehabilitation and social integration of victims provide a variety of help, such as Italian language courses, psychological aid, professional training.
The results of the assistance action are linked to the effectiveness of Governmental bodies in satisfying the victim's request for a residence permit within a short period of time. The results also depend on the capacity of police and social services to realise that trafficked persons are victims of a crime and not simply prostitutes and clandestine immigrants.
In order to improve the country's ability to assist victims it is necessary to increase human and financial resources.
It is also essential to organise special training for social workers, medical, customs and police personnel to make citizens and institutions aware of the difference existing between clandestine immigration and voluntary prostitution.
Few structures exist to assist victims of trafficking (SEF Foundation, COMBAT, ARTEMIS from Culj and SCOPE from Timisoara. IOM has helped several victims to return home). SEF Foundation offers legal counselling, psychological assistance and medical help. Artemis has a shelter for trafficked women.
Romanian legislation envisages that victims can obtain material and moral assistance by means of trial and lawsuit.
Usually, victims who testify do not benefit from special protection; sometimes they can enjoy special protection by the police for a limited period of time.
There is no special programme for rehabilitation and social reintegration of victims.
The weakness of the system is the lack of special assistance for victims. For that purpose, the Ministries should set up special departments.
In order to improve the situation, a national action plan is necessary as well as more financial resources to fund specific projects.
No specific structures exist for victims of trafficking, who are mostly non-Slovenian citizens and illegal immigrants. However, there are some Centres for women victims of violence.
The new amendments to the Slovenian criminal procedural act (1999), in very exceptional cases, where the disclosure of the witnesses' identity would seriously endanger her life or that of her relatives, allow anonymous testifying by witnesses by means of electronic equipment (usually for cases of organised crime).
“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
The Ministry of the Interior has arranged a safe house to start operating from 1 September as a transit centre for temporary accommodation of victims of trafficking and is now considering providing training for police officers guarding or interviewing victims of trafficking.
No specific structures exist to assist victims.
Short-term residence permits are given to illegal migrants until their departure from the country.
Specific structures have not been created yet.
Assistance is provided mostly by NGOs by means of information and consultative help.
Special programmes aimed at facilitating rehabilitation and social reintegration are in the process of being set up.
In order to improve the country's ability to assist victims of trafficking, a special status should be recognised as well as compensation, protection against possible revenge, temporary shelter, vocational and professional training, employment, legal and medical assistance, new passport and place of living if necessary.
According to the Albanian criminal code, prostitution is a crime (Art. 113) and is punishable by up to 3 years' imprisonment and a fine. Soliciting, mediating or gaining from prostitution is sentenced by up to 5 years' imprisonment and a fine (Art. 114).
Some new changes in the criminal code are planned with the aim of strengthening the fight against traffickers and preventing trafficking.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
There is no special anti-trafficking legislation in BIH but the criminal code contains some provisions that may be used in fighting trafficking in human beings. There is no other legislation applicable.
A new criminal law is in the phase of public discussion. The existing law punishes victims and punishment for traffickers is inadequate.
In order to combat trafficking, all EU and UN recommendations should be incorporated in the domestic legislation.
The are some provisions in the penal code connected with trafficking (Art. 143 Kidnapping and unlawful deprivation of liberty, Art. 156 Debauchery, and punishment is by imprisonment from 3 to 12 years and a fine). However, these provisions are not sufficient to clarify the complexity of such an issue.
Prostitution is not considered a crime according to Bulgarian legislation. Crimes are all the activities related to it, its organisation and consumption.
There is not a single provision regarding trafficking in women in the Criminal Code of Croatia. The Articles applicable are "establishment of slavery and transport of slaves" (Art. 175), "illegal transfer of persons across the state border" (Art. 177) and "international prostitution" (Art. 178).
According to the new Law 3(1)/2000, the following acts of sexual exploitation and trafficking constitute serious crime offences:
a) sexual exploitation of adults;
b) trafficking of adults for gain;
c) sexual exploitation and ill treatment of minors;
d) trafficking of minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation or their ill treatment.
Offences (a) and (b) are punishable by imprisonment up to 15 years.
Offences (c) and (d) are punishable by imprisonment up to 20 years.
The marketing of pornographic material using children constitutes a separate offence under the new law and it is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years. The Law also contains provisions excluding certain defences, such as ignorance of the age of the victim or the consent of the victim.
Offences committed under the law fall within the category of "predicate offences" under the Prevention of Money and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law (Law 61(I)/96, as amended), the proceeds of which are liable to confiscation.
Offences under this Law are treated as extraditable and the Cyprus Courts have jurisdiction to try these offences even if committed in another country.
The Cyprus Criminal Code expressly forbids procuring (Chapter 154, Sections 157 and 159). Living on earnings of prostitution or persistently soliciting also constitutes an offence (Section 164). The law applies equally to Cypriots and aliens committing the offence in the Republic.
Cyprus is also bound by a series of international treaties, such as: UN Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Women and Children, as amended in 1947 (applicable by succession after independence in 1960), UN Convention for Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (ratified by Law no. 57/83), Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (ratified by Law 78/85) and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified by Law 243/90).
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Montenegro
The Federal Law envisages mediating in prostitution as a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment from 3 months to 3 years. If the criminal offence has been committed on underage persons, or by force, threat or deceit, the perpetrator of the crime will be sentenced to one to ten years’ imprisonment.
Furthermore, Article 22 guarantees the inviolability of physical and psychological integrity of the individual, his/her privacy and personal rights.
The Criminal Law of the Republic of Montenegro regulates the criminal offences of procurement and helping sexual promiscuity. The sentence is up to three years and if the victim is a minor, up to ten years. Article 61 prohibits abuse of children.
Greek legislation does not cover trafficking as such. It refers to crime against sexual freedom and the economic exploitation of sexual life (Penal Code -Chapter 18, Articles 336: rape; 337: insult to sexual dignity; 338: assault; 343: assault by abuse of power; 334: indictment). Further Articles deal with sexual exploitation (348-351).
The Hungarian penal code (Act IV of 1978) contains special provisions penalising trafficking (175/B). It envisages imprisonment for up to 3 years, but there are some aggravating circumstances especially if the fact is committed for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Furthermore, the defence of witnesses is regulated by the Criminal Procedural Code.
Prostitution is not a crime. Promotion of prostitution, living on earnings from prostitution and pandering are criminal offences (Penal Code, Articles 205, 206, 207).
Act LXIX of 1999 on "Violation of Administrative Rules" contains 3 sections related to prostitution (section 143, Prohibited soliciting, 144 Prohibition of invitation to engage in act of prostitution and section 145 on Prohibition of offering and advertising sexual services)".
Act LXXV of 1999 on "The modification of regulations on the fight against organised crime and related offences" contains public safety provisions on prostitution providing zones of tolerance. The local governments are responsible for creating such zones, and police units for monitoring them.
If, on the one hand, very good legislation exists, on the other its implementation is still difficult, especially because of the infrastructures.
A new action plan defending the rights of the victims has to be regarded as a priority.
As regards the criminal penalties envisaged for the people responsible for trafficking, one can refer to various legal provisions:
- Art. 12 of Consolidation Act n. 286/98 which represses clandestine immigration and establishes more severe penalties if the purpose is for sexual exploitation;
- Art. 3, n. 6 and 7 of law n. 75 dated 1958 (Abolition of the regulation of prostitution and fight against the exploitation of prostitution) which applies sanctions specifically against the trade in human beings to be exploited for prostitution even where use is not made of violence, coercion or abuse;
- Art. 416 and 416bis of the criminal code which apply sanctions against the crimes of "criminal associations" and "mafia-like association" and come into play when the trafficking in human beings is carried out in an organised way;
- Bill 5839 which, introducing art. 602bis of the criminal code, punishes the specific crime of "trafficking in human beings" where use is made of violence, threat or deceit for the purpose of sexual exploitation or other forms of exploitation such as reducing the victims to slavery.
Another applicable law is Art. 600 of the criminal code which applies sanctions against the crime of " reducing to slavery".
Prostitution is not a crime, only exploitation of prostitution is punishable by criminal penalties. There is no difference between nationals and migrants. Prostitutes who are also migrants are punished only for the violation of laws on clandestine immigration.
The weakness of the present legal system is that it is necessary to use a lot of different laws to punish traffickers. In this regard, the Parliament is discussing Bill 5839.
The strength is that the Consolidation Act on immigration (art. 18) helps victims and gives them real hope. In this way the action of traffickers can be undermined.
In order to improve the system it is necessary to pass Bill 5839 as soon as possible so that the specific crime of "trafficking in human beings" will be punished.
Article 328 of the criminal code punishes prostitution by imprisonment from 3 months to 3 years. Procuring is punished by detention from 2 to 7 years. If the victim is underage, the punishment is from 3 to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Blackmail, threats, slavery, lack of freedom and corruption are also harshly punished. If associations, according to Article 323 of the criminal code, commit such offences, imprisonment is from 3 to 15 years.
Other applicable connected legislation is the Romanian border legislation, incriminating illegal border crossing and trafficking as well as the Romanian penal code regarding drug traffic, forged money traffic, tax evasion, fake declaration and fake identity.
In order to improve the legal system, more drastic penalties should be imposed on traffickers. Simplification of the legal proceedings is recommended and witness protection requested.
The Slovenian criminal law contains several measures that can be used for combating trafficking in human beings (Articles 180 to 187 "violence and other forms of sexual exploitation". Article 186 dealing specifically with procuring of prostitution envisages a prison sentence of 3 months to five years, and if the offence is committed against a juvenile, at least one year. Articles 25 to 29 include all forms of intentional participation in these acts). It is possible to refer to "unlawful taking of persons over the state border" as an offence under Art. 311/II of the criminal law act as well as to "enslaving persons" according to Article 387 (the perpetrator can be punished by imprisonment from one to ten years, and if the offence is committed against a juvenile at least 3 years’ imprisonment).
Both national and foreign offenders are punishable according to Slovenian criminal law. Non-Slovenian citizens can be also expelled.
In 1999, the Slovenian public prosecutor accused 23 persons of procurement of prostitution, or mediation in prostitution, and 2 persons were accused of trafficking in persons according to article 387.
Prostitution as such is a trespass of administrative law. Recently there have been some legislative proposals and political actions in favour of legalisation of prostitution.
“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
The Criminal Code does not provide an explicit provision on illegal trafficking of human beings. However, the actions that are being sanctioned and taken in connection with this matter are covered in the following crimes: Art. 139 - Coercion, Art. 140 - Illegal detention, Art. 141 - Kidnapping, Art 404 - Illegal Organised crime - crossing of the state border and Art. 418 - Establishing of a position of slavery and transfer of person in a position of slavery.
Article 436 of the Turkish penal code prohibits trafficking in human beings. Trafficking in aliens is punishable under the Passport Law no 5682, articles 33 to 36 (this latter article is going to be amended).
Articles 435 and 437 deal with prostitution; incitement to prostitution is an offence. Sexual exploitation is punishable by up to 2 years' imprisonment.
In order to improve the system, punishment for traffickers should be more deterrent. An amendment is already underway and it includes a considerable increase in imprisonment for traffickers and confiscation of means of transport.
The criminal code was appropriately amended to tackle the trafficking matter.
The strength of the Ukrainian legal framework is that it is in the process of reforms and it complies with international norms. The weaknesses are that Ukraine still has not ratified many international agreements and there is a lack of good implementation.
In order to improve the legal system, implementation of laws and their monitoring are essential.
Co-ordination and co-operation
Bosnia and Herzegovina
There is no leading agency to co-ordinate the fight against trafficking at national level. Other groups have been set up to co-ordinate actions against other forms of organised crime (e.g. against money laundering).
Women NGOs are involved in combating trafficking and have created a network of 9 national NGOs, "RING". RING collaborates with La Strada, other international human rights law groups and OHR.
National bodies are not co-operating with bodies of other countries.
In order to improve co-ordination and co-operation between national agencies, a co-ordinating mechanism responsible for drawing up a national policy on combating trafficking should be set up. It should also be a monitoring mechanism.
The strength of the present system with regard to international co-operation is the presence of many international agencies, the weakness is their lack of co-operation. The same goes for regional and bilateral co-operation.
Furthermore, BIH is signing and ratifying all international documents without implementing them.
In order to improve the country's ability to co-operate at these levels it is necessary to put pressure on government in order to change the law, to draw up an immigrant law, to establish institutional mechanisms and to provide financial support for shelters. At regional level, NGOs should create a network for better co-operation in combating trafficking.
The National Border Police Service (NBPS) is the leading agency. A special unit "Combat against trade in human beings" was created within the directorate of NBPS. Its tasks are investigation and identification, gathering of documentary evidence, joint actions and exchange of information with other national and international law enforcement agencies. Animus/La Strada is co-ordinating an NGO network.
Animus/La Strada and the National Border Police Service (NBPS) of the Ministry of the Interior have signed an agreement envisaging common work in this area.
Other law enforcement agencies working in this field are the National Service "Combat Against Organised crime" and the National Service Police.
At the non-governmental level, there are 20 NGOs dealing with trafficking and trained by Animus/La Strada in the fields of lobbying, prevention and victim support. They work mostly on a voluntary basis due to a lack of financial support.
There are no official statistics on trafficking. Some cases are registered with the police or border police. NBPS collects statistical data on trafficking in human beings since 1999. The information can be delivered as long as it is not confidential.
Animus/La Strada has a qualitative database.
The strength of the system with regard to co-ordination and co-operation between agencies within the country is that the institutions have accepted the existence of trafficking and it is considered as a crime, even though that is only at political level, not at executive level. However, there is a lack of co-ordination among governmental institutions, women are not a priority at institutional level and NGOs have a peripheral position.
In order to improve the present system, trafficking should not be underestimated (the Ministry of Home Affairs considers the number not so high), but put as a priority on the agenda of the State. Defining competence, capacities and clear procedures for co-operation might be the basis for a National Action Plan against Trafficking.
NBPS has signed agreements on operative co-operation and exchange of information with Romania, Germany and recently with “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. Two working meetings have been held between NBPS and the competent police authorities in Greece.
At international level, co-operation between NGOs is well developed even though there is still a lack of good relations with Greece, “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Albania.
At regional level, co-operation is working, in particular thanks to excellent co-ordination between police services, border police, embassies and NGOs of the neighbouring countries in order to ensure a safe return of the victims.
Under the initiative for Co-operation in South-Eastern Europe (SECI), an agreement for the fight against transnational organised crime and a Charter for its application have been elaborated.
At bilateral level, Bulgaria co-operated successfully with Poland, facilitated and supported by the US Justice Department.
There is no leading agency responsible for co-ordinating the fight against trafficking.
According to Section 53 of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law (Law 61(I)/96), a Unit for Combating Money Laundering Offences was established.
Only ISAG (Immigrant Support Action Group), an NGO, is involved in combating trafficking albeit indirectly. It is working in the field of immigrants' rights and anti-racism.
No special statistics or findings are currently available.
The Cyprus police work closely with Interpol.
The strength of the system lies in the fact that this new Law envisages trafficking as a separate crime. Furthermore, provisions on victim protection and support and the establishment of the Guardian have been enacted.
Time and experience are necessary to evaluate them.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Montenegro
The gender and equal opportunity machinery is about to be established and it might function as a co-ordinating body. At present there is no leading agency co-ordinating the fight against trafficking.
At national level, only police and some NGOs are facing this problem. Among these NGOS, the Montenegrin Women's Lobby and the Women's Safe House offer services and help to the victims.
Since Montenegro is not a sovereign country, relations with other countries encounter some obstacles, although, at bilateral level, a successful collaboration has been started with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Albania.
Priority is to draft new legislation and regulations and establish the appropriate specialised bodies with adequate competencies.
The weaknesses of the present system are the lack of adequate and sufficient information, its exchange and the co-operation between the authorities, hindered by the fact that Montenegro is not a sovereign country.
Adequate preconditions should be created for the realisation of the competent body in charge of gender of the Government of the Republic of Montenegro. This body will be responsible for collection and processing of data on women's status and women's participation in all the different sectors of public life. It can also contribute to the fight against trafficking in human beings.
The immediate steps to be taken in order to tackle trafficking are adequate media coverage, information campaigns and dissemination of promotional material.
In November 1997, the European Network of Women - Greek section - co-ordinated the co-operation of women's NGOs with the Ministry on Violence against women and children, including the issue of trafficking. Prior to 1997, the Marangopoulos foundation for human rights had co-operated with the Pandis University to publicise university research on the increase of the exploitation of foreign women in Greece.
Over the last year, the Ministry of Public Order has created a department to combat corruption within the police force because there is so much money involved and such great profits to be made from trafficking in women that traffickers can easily use part of their huge profits to bribe the authorities.
There is no specific leading institution responsible for co-ordinating the fight against trafficking. However, it is up to the Minister of Interior, especially through the National Police Force and Border Police (the legal basis is the Act on Police and the Government Order on the Duty of the Ministry of Interior).
A National Crime Prevention Council was set up to co-ordinate action against other forms of organised crimes. The Office of Taxing and Financial Control, the Tax authorities, the Foundation of National Public Order and Crime also take part in the co-ordination.
NGOs are involved in combating trafficking, especially giving legal advice to the victims, financial support and general information (some of them are "Please do not", "White ring", "The Way out with You"…).
The exchange of information is organised within the Police Force. The NCPC is responsible for inter-departmental exchange of information.
There is inter-ministerial co-operation with other countries, particularly daily contacts with Interpol and Europol. Furthermore, the Police headquarters have good connections with similar bodies of the bordering countries.
The strengths of the system are the leading role played by the National Crime Prevention Council and effective co-operation with Interpol. It is still necessary to improve contacts with other countries' departments and organisations. Moreover, the activities are sometimes slow.
The leading mechanism to co-ordinate the fight against trafficking is the Interministerial Committee for the co-ordination of Government's action set up in 1998. It advances proposals and takes action in favour of trafficked victims. The Minister of Equal Opportunities and the Minister of Social Affairs preside over this Committee whose other members are the Ministries of Interior Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Justice and the Directorate General Antimafia.
Catholic and lay associations having experience in this field collaborate with the Committee. The Committee studies and analyses the phenomenon of trafficking and co-ordinates Government's action in Italy and in international bodies where Italian Government is represented.
Directorate General Antimafia co-ordinates action against criminal organisations.
The exchange of information is organised by the Interministerial Committee. It is linked to the other administrative bodies responsible for the fight against organised crime and other organisations dealing with this issue. It is difficult to prepare official specific statistics on trafficking, but there are some studies and reports made by NGOs concerning prostitution and some data collected by the Ministry of Justice about the denounced crimes against women.
Italy is part of an IOM project which includes an information campaign in Albania directed to prevent clandestine immigration and trafficking of young women to Italy and assistance to the return and reintegration of the victims.
Italy takes part in the group for drafting a UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime.
There is also a bilateral agreement between Italy and USA to combat trafficking.
The strength of the present system is the increasing awareness of the seriousness of the issue and the need for co-operation.
The weaknesses are the difficulties in preparing official statistics and the incomplete implementation of Art. 18.
In order to improve co-ordination and co-operation between agencies it is necessary to improve the co-ordination within the Interministerial Committee and between the latter and NGOs; to collect data and prepare statistics and to guarantee a better and complete implementation of Art. 18 of the Consolidation Act.
In view of better international co-operation it is necessary to strengthen a network between the police of the neighbouring States and between the NGOs dealing with trafficking.
An international body is recommended to co-ordinate the fight against trafficking and to collect data.
With regard to regional co-operation, there should be international agreements to set up mechanisms to fight trafficking in specific areas with the same problems.
With a view to bilateral co-operation, there should be bilateral agreements between the countries of origin and the countries of destination to set up mechanisms of assistance and in order to guarantee the rehabilitation of the victims and, if they wish, to return to the countries of origin.
In order to improve the country's ability to co-operate at these different levels it would be necessary to:
- improve the exchange of information;
- organise special training for the different actors involved to enable them to identify cases of trafficking and respond appropriately;
- create a data bank with information concerning the victims as well as the traffickers.
At national level NGOs are co-ordinated by the Forum of Women's Organisations.
At regional and international levels, exchanging of experiences and co-ordination occurred through seminars and round tables that took place in Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and in the USA.
The NGOs have made the first step towards trafficking prevention, but the involvement of State authorities is necessary.
There is no specific leading agency for co-ordinating and combating trafficking.
The BCCU (Directorate for combating organised crimes) is a body subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and it has local branches all over the territory and functions as a department of the police. It is more specialised in other organised crimes, such as corruption and money laundering. Among its tasks, it is also competent to combat forgery of money, violent crimes, such as kidnapping and blackmail, trafficking and migration and illegal adoptions. The IOM in Bucharest can function as a co-ordinating agency.
In the '90s, many NGOs were established in order to protect human rights in general. Only SEF has a programme of information and assistance for trafficked victims.
Every institution with competencies in the fight against trafficking in human beings has its own statistics. This communication deficiency represents the weakness of the present system.
The strength is that in criminal cases the co-ordination belongs to the prosecutor.
In order to improve co-ordination and co-operation, specialised structures such as those created for combating money laundering and corruption should be set up.
At regional level, a European Network of magistrates would simplify the exchange of information and make the system more efficient.
At bilateral level, specific agreements with neighbouring countries and a common programme in the fight against trafficking would be desirable.
Romania has already signed several international and regional agreements for co-ordinating the fight against organised crime (Protocol of Trilateral Co-operation on Combating Crime and Criminality, signed by Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, 1998; the Agreement on the Co-operation in the Domain of Struggle against Terrorism, Organised Crime, Traffic of Drugs, Money Laundry, Traffic in Persons, signed by Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, 1999; Agreement on Co-operation in the Struggle against Organised International Crime, signed by Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, Moldova, BIH and the “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” establishing the basis of the regional SECI).
In order to improve the country's ability in the fight against trafficking, a mechanism for exchanging information and for co-ordination is necessary as well as additional financial resources.
There is no lead agency in the fight against trafficking. The Ministry of Internal Affairs covers trafficking in human beings under its general competencies.
Slovenia has set up some specialised official entities to co-ordinate actions against other forms of organised crime (e.g. State Agency for Combating Money Laundering).
There are NGOs dealing with human rights, but not specifically with trafficking.
There are official statistics available on the basis of police findings, of the work of public prosecutors and the work of the criminal court system.
Good co-operation exists between Slovenian police and police forces abroad and also at academic level.
“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
The responsible institution in the fight against trafficking of human beings at national level is the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of organised crime, Section for the fight against illegal trafficking of human beings. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is the only institution working on trafficking.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has different departments and sections dealing with drugs, money laundering and other related problems.
“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” is in the process of combining and establishing data for NGOs involved in combating trafficking
The Ministry of Internal Affairs signed an Agreement with Bulgaria in 1993 for co-operation in all spheres. This summer an agreement between “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Bulgaria was signed encompassing border control and the fight against trafficking in human beings.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has also an on-going exchange of information with Interpol. The country is also in the process of establishing similar relations with Albania and with the other countries of the region.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs needs better co-operation with the Ministry of Labour and Social policy in order to have a long-term strategy for helping the victims of trafficking.
The “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” needs better exchange of information with the agencies involved in the fight against trafficking in the region as well as communication on a regular basis with those agencies. Furthermore, sufficient financial resources are requested to carry out the national policy in this respect together with trained police officers.
The leading institution is the Directorate General of Security of the Ministry of Interior.
The Department for combating smuggling and organised crimes deals with other forms of crime.
At international level, Turkey is active within the "Budapest Process". It also co-operates with IOM, UNHCR and with the EU.
At regional level, co-operation is being developed with Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, BIH and the other South-East European countries.
In order to improve the system, technical assistance and financial resources may be useful as well as seminars and conferences on illegal immigration.
A leading role in co-ordinating action against trafficking was held by a State Committee, but after reform, this has been given to a Co-ordinating Council for the Prevention of Violence, attached to the Ombudsman of Human Rights.
Several NGOs (City Women's Centre, La Strada, Women in Mass Media, Consortium of women’s organisations…) are very much involved, and co-operate and keep contacts with networks of international NGOs.
The “Gender in Development” UNDP programme is carrying out research on the sociological status of women in the country. They exchange information and act also as a link between NGOs and institutions by organising conferences, workshops, and round tables.
1 Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
2 It should be noted that the organisation of the Seminar coincided with the launching of a Task Force on trafficking in human beings under the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe by the Austrian Presidency of the OSCE. Ms Helga Konrad, former Minister for Women's Affairs of Austria, recently appointed as Co-ordinator of the Task Force, attended the Seminar and spoke at the opening session.
3 Due to the large size of the compendium (two volumes), we only refer to it (EG (2000)2).
4 The need to invite representatives from Ukraine was retained, although this country is not formally part of South-Eastern Europe, in view of the fact that this country has launched several anti-trafficking measures in relation to networks operating from Ukraine towards South Eastern Europe.
5 Document EG/ATH (2000) 4.
6 A total of 30 assessment forms were returned.
7 When adopting this Recommendation, the Representatives of Germany and the Netherlands indicated that, in accordance with Article 10.2.c of the Rules of Procedure for the meetings of the Ministers' Deputies, they reserved the right, for their respective governments, to comply or not with paragraph I.1 of the Appendix to the Recommendation.
8 Source: "A Form of Slavery: Trafficking in Women in OSCE Member States", Report to the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Trafficking in Human Beings (Vienna, 19 June 2000), prepared by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF).