Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

1st Evaluation Round: GRETA visits Spain

24.10.2012 - A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out a country visit to Spain from 15 to 19 October 2012. The visit was organised in the context of the first round of evaluation of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2010-2013).

During the visit, the GRETA delegation met the State Secretary for Security, Mr Ignacio Ulloa Rubio, and the Ambassador for Human Rights, Mr Juan Manuel Cabrera Hernández. It also held consultations with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Special Government Delegation against Gender-based Violence, which leads and co-ordinates action against human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Equality, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the Office for Asylum and Refugees, the National Police, the Guardia Civil, the General Prosecutor’s Office, and the General Council for the Judiciary.

In addition, the GRETA delegation met representatives of the authorities of the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Catalonia and Madrid, as well as prosecutors in charge of THB cases in those regions. Further, the GRETA delegation met the Spanish Ombudsperson, Ms Soledad Becerril, and her First Deputy, Mr Francisco Fernández Marugán, as well as Catalonia’s Ombudsperson, Mr Rafael Ribó. Discussions were also held with representatives of the Spanish Federation of Provinces and Municipalities.

The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in combating trafficking in human beings and protecting human rights, including the Spanish Network of NGOs against THB, as well as other members of civil society in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. The GRETA delegation also met representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Spain.

In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited two emergency shelters for women victims of trafficking, as well as a training workshop for the social reintegration of women and girls victims of sexual exploitation, all run by NGOs.

The visit was carried out by Mr Helmut Sax and Ms Diana Tudorache, members of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Carolina Lasén Diaz and Mr Gerald Dunn of the Secretariat of the Convention.

On the basis of the information gathered during the visit and the reply from the Spanish authorities to GRETA’s questionnaire, GRETA will prepare a draft report containing an analysis of the implementation of the Convention by Spain and suggestions for further action. This draft report will be transmitted to the Spanish authorities for comments, which will be taken into account by GRETA when establishing its final report. GRETA’s final report will be made public, together with eventual comments by the Spanish authorities.