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Welcome to the Anti-Trafficking website
of the Council of Europe
Trafficking in human beings violates the rights and affects the lives of countless people in Europe and beyond. An increasing number of women, men and children are being traded as a commodity, across borders or in their own countries, and trapped into exploitation and abuse. The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which entered into force on 1 February 2008, aims to prevent trafficking in human beings, protect victims of trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and promote co-ordination of national actions and international co-operation. The countries which have signed up to the Convention are monitored by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). The Council of Europe also supports governments in the implementation of the Convention and the recommendations emerging from its monitoring process.
first evaluation visit to Andorra
Belarus becomes the first country outside the Council of Europe to join the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
Belarus acceded to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings on 26 November 2013, thus becoming the first country outside the Council of Europe to join this treaty. The Convention will enter into force as regards Belarus on 1 March 2014.
The Convention has been ratified by 40 Council of Europe member States: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova,Montenegro,the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Another three Council of Europe member States – Estonia, Greece and Turkey – have signed but not yet ratified the Convention.
GRETA's 18th meeting
The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human
Beings (GRETA) held its 18th meeting from 4 to 8 November 2013
at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
first evaluation visit to Ukraine
GRETA’s first evaluation visit to Iceland
30 October 2013 - 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 Iceland from 21 to 24 October 2013. 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. [More...]
Seventh European Anti-Trafficking Day
Victims of trafficking: “Human beings with human rights that must be protected”
18 October 2013 – Three key international anti-trafficking expert mechanisms today called for a concerted global response to fight the transnational scourge of trafficking in persons.
“Partnership is the backbone for effective coordinated efforts to implementing a human-rights based approach while addressing this multi-faceted phenomenon,” they said on the occasion of the European Anti-Trafficking Day.
“Cooperation between origin, transit and destination countries, but also with regional and international mechanisms, as well as private stakeholders such as multi-national corporations and civil society organizations, is essential for comprehensive responses to trafficking in persons,” stressed the human rights experts from the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE). [more...]
Europe must not stay an El Dorado for human traffickers
Strasbourg, 17 October 2013 - On the occasion of the publication of its third general report of activities, the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), responsible for monitoring the respect of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, urges European governments to boost their efforts. “Human trafficking and the worst forms of exploitation that go with it call for governments and parliaments to up their game”, states Nicolas Le Coz, President of GRETA. “Europe must not stay an El Dorado for human traffickers”.
In light of its on-the-spot findings in the 10 European countries evaluated between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013 (Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Latvia, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom), the Council of Europe anti-trafficking watchdog stresses the need to combat all forms of trafficking in human beings. “Trafficking for the purpose of slavery, forced labour, removal of organs or forcing victims to commit criminal offences takes place every day in Europe, but is seldom investigated and punished”, underlines the President of GRETA. [more...]
12th meeting of
the Committee of the Parties
First GRETA report on Spain
Strasbourg, 27 September 2013 – The Spanish authorities have taken a number of steps in the area of action against trafficking in human beings, such as adopting a national action plan to combat human trafficking for sexual exploitation and a framework for the identification and referral of trafficking victims, but several important challenges remain, according to a report published today by the Council of Europe’s expert group on human trafficking, GRETA. [more...]
First GRETA report on Ireland
Strasbourg, 26 September 2013 - The Council of Europe’s expert body on trafficking in human beings, GRETA, has called on the Irish authorities to ensure that all victims of trafficking are identified as such and provided with assistance and protection.
In its first report on Ireland, which was published today, GRETA underlines that several important steps have been taken by the authorities in recent years – including the adoption of anti-trafficking legislation, a comprehensive action plan and the creation of specialised bodies. [more...]
First GRETA report on Belgium
Strasbourg, 25 September 2013 – The Belgian authorities have taken a number of important steps to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, such as putting in place a comprehensive legal and policy framework and setting up specialised anti-trafficking structures, but several challenges remain, according to a report published today by the Council of Europe’s expert group on human trafficking, GRETA.
GRETA welcomes in its report the multidisciplinary approach to the identification and referral of victims of human trafficking in Belgium. However, GRETA considers that the Belgian authorities should pay increased attention to trafficking in children, particularly those exploited for the purpose of forced begging or committing of offences. In order to improve the identification of victims of trafficking, the Belgian authorities should step up the training provided to all front-line actors. [more...]
National contact persons appointed to liaise with GRETA meet in Strasbourg
Strasbourg, 19 September 2013 - For the second time since 2010, a meeting of the contact persons appointed by the Parties to the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings to liaise with the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) took place in Strasbourg on 17 September 2013. GRETA was represented by its Bureau.
The aim of the meeting was to have an exchange on experiences from the first evaluation round of the implementation of the Convention, which was launched in 2010, and lessons learned which should be taken into account when preparing the second evaluation round. [more...]
UN and European anti-trafficking experts join forces to fight trafficking in persons in Europe and beyond
STRASBOURG / GENEVA (5 July 2013) – Two key international anti-trafficking expert mechanisms have combined forces to strengthen the fight against trafficking in human beings in Europe and beyond. Nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour exploitation, including human trafficking, across the world, of which almost a million in the European Union member States, according to estimate by the International Labour Organisation. [more...]