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GRETA’s first evaluation visit to Finland
17 June 2014 - A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out an evaluation visit to Finland from 9 to 13 June 2014. 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.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Ms Päivi Nerg, and senior officials from the Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Employment and the Economy, and Social Affairs and Health. Further, the delegation held consultations with the Ombudsman for Minorities and National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, Ms Eva Biaudet, and the Ombudsman for Children, Mr Tuomas Kurttila. Meetings were also held with members of Parliament and representatives of the Prosecution Service and the Supreme Court.
Further, the GRETA delegation met representatives of the municipal social services in Helsinki, Lappeenranta and Vaasa, police officers and prosecutors dealing with trafficking cases in Helsinki and Vaasa, and the Border Guard at Helsinki Airport.
In addition, meetings were held with representatives of non-governmental organisations, the SAK Trade Union Federation, the Confederation of Finnish Industries, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, and researchers. The GRETA delegation also met officials from the local offices of the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited Joutseno Reception Centre, which co-ordinates the provision of assistance to victims of trafficking in Finland, Vaasa Reception Centre, and a shelter run by the NGO Monica Multicultural Women’s Association.
The visit was carried out by Mr Olafs Bruvers and Ms Rita Theodorou Superman, members of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Petya Nestorova, Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, and Mr Mats Lindberg of the Secretariat of the Convention.
On the basis of the information gathered during the visit and the reply from the authorities of Finland to GRETA’s questionnaire, GRETA will prepare a draft report containing an analysis of the implementation of the Convention by Finland and suggestions for further action. This draft report will be transmitted to the authorities of Finland 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 authorities of Finland.