Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

20 June 2014 - World Refugee Day

Victims of trafficking in human beings
are too often deprived of their right to international protection

Strasbourg, 20 June 2014 - On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) expresses deep concern that victims of trafficking are often denied international protection in Europe. “A victim of trafficking may be subject to persecution once back in her/his country because of belonging to a particular social group as defined by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or for having denounced the traffickers”, warns Nicolas Le Coz, President of GRETA.

GRETA recalls that the human rights approach enshrined in the Council of Europe’s Anti-trafficking Convention requires states parties to take into account the risk of persecutions of victims of trafficking, as well as to ensure that all foreign nationals identified as victims of trafficking are informed about their right to request international protection.

The President of GRETA alerts the administrative and judicial authorities against the illusion that victims will be protected in their country of origin: “States may have adopted anti-trafficking laws, but there is not sufficient proof that they are effective and prevent victims of trafficking from persecution and re-trafficking.”

A multidisciplinary college of 15 independent experts set up under the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, GRETA is mandated to monitor the respect of this treaty by the 42 states which have so far ratified it. As of 20 June 2014, GRETA has published 30 country evaluation reports.

Link to GRETA’s reports:
Link to UNHCR’s refworld site: