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GRETA publishes first report on Azerbaijan
Link to the report
Strasbourg, 23 May 2014 - The Council of Europeís Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published today its first evaluation report on Azerbaijan.
In its report, GRETA welcomes the steps taken by Azerbaijan to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, including the adoption of anti-trafficking legislation and national action plans, as well as the appointment of a national co-ordinator and a working group on combating trafficking.
The report highlights the initiatives taken to raise public awareness of human trafficking but underlines the importance of strengthening prevention through the promotion of gender equality and discouraging demand for services from trafficked persons, in partnership with the private sector and civil society.
GRETA stresses that the role and input of NGOs and other relevant stakeholders, such as labour inspectors and medical staff, in identifying victims of trafficking should be reinforced by formalising their involvement in the national referral mechanism. Furthermore, efforts need to be increased to proactively identify victims of trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation.
According to the report, the authorities need to ensure that safe accommodation and other assistance measures are provided to victims regardless of whether they co-operate with the investigation. GRETA also stresses that victims should be systematically informed about the possibility of obtaining compensation and their access to it should be ensured.
Finally, GRETA calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to strengthen their efforts to ensure that crimes related to trafficking are proactively investigated and prosecuted promptly and effectively. The report highlights the need for further training and specialisation of judges, prosecutors and police investigators.
Prior to drawing up its evaluation report, GRETA held consultations with the relevant authorities and non-governmental and international organisations active in the field of combating trafficking in human beings in Azerbaijan. A confidential first draft of the report was sent to the Azerbaijani authorities and their comments were taken into account in the final evaluation report adopted by GRETA. This report is published together with the final comments of the Azerbaijani authorities, as provided for by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. On the basis of GRETAís report, the Committee of the Parties to the Convention will consider adopting recommendations addressed to the Government of Azerbaijan.
[Click here for more information on Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings]