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1st Evaluation Round: GRETA visits Azerbaijan

27 May 2013 - 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 Azerbaijan from 13 to 17 May 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 (2010-2013).

During the visit, the GRETA delegation held discussions with Mr Vilayat Eyvazov, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, National Co-ordinator on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as with the Head of the Department on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Chairman of the Relief Fund for Victims of Trafficking and other representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The GRETA delegation also met with the Head of the Human Rights Committee of the Parliament and other parliamentarians as well as with the Head and other members of the Ombudsman Office. Meetings were also held with representatives of the General Prosecutorís Office and the Supreme Court. The GRETA delegation also held meetings with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Education, the State Committee on Family, Women and Childrenís Issues, the State Migration Service, the State Border Service and the State Customs Committee.

In addition, the GRETA delegation met representatives of non-governmental organisations and intergovernmental organisations active in combating trafficking in human beings and protecting human rights in Azerbaijan.

In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited a state-run shelter for victims of trafficking in human beings and the state-run Assistance Centre for Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as an NGO-run shelter for children, which can accommodate children vulnerable to trafficking, as well as child victims of trafficking.

The visit was carried out by Mr Nicolas Le Coz, President of GRETA and Ms Alina Braşoveanu, First Vice-President of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Claudia Lam of the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat.

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