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Council of Europe anti-trafficking monitoring body visits Latvia

Strasbourg, 21 February 2012- 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 Latvia from 14 to 17 February 2012. The visit was carried out 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 had discussions with Mr Dimitrijs TROFIMOVS, National Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as with senior officials from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Economics, the State Police, the Prosecutorís Office and the Court Administration. Further, a meeting was held with the Ombudsman of Latvia, Mr Juris JANSONS. The delegation also met representatives of Riga City Council.

In addition, the GRETA delegation met representatives of non-governmental organisations active in combating trafficking in human beings and protecting human rights, as well as members of the Council of Sworn Advocates. Discussions were also held with the local office of the International Organisation for Migration.

In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited a crisis centre for women victims of domestic violence and/or trafficking in Riga.

The visit was carried out by Mr Vladimir GILCA, member of GRETA, and Mr David DOLIDZE, Administrator in the Secretariat of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

On the basis of the information gathered during the visit and the reply from the Latvian authorities to GRETAís questionnaire, GRETA will prepare a draft report containing an analysis of the implementation of the Convention by Latvia and suggestions for further action. This draft report will be transmitted to the Latvian 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 Latvian authorities.