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1st Evaluation Round: GRETA visits Malta

Strasbourg, 5 March 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 Malta from 28 February to 2 March 2012. 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 consultations with Mr Alan Caruana, National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator and Chair of the National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Monitoring Committee, Mr Mario Debattista, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Home and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Silvio Camilleri, Chief Justice, Mr Joseph Said Pullicino, Ombudsman, Mr Mario Guido Friggieri, Refugee Commissioner, Mr John Rizzo, Commissioner of Police, Ms Helen DíAmato, Commissioner for Children, Ms Maud Muscat, Commissioner for the Promotion of Equality and Ms Yvonne Mallia, Operations Director of the National Social Welfare Agency for Children and Families (APPOGG). Meetings were also held with members of the Malta Police Force and the Attorney Generalís Office, as well as with officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry for Home and Parliamentary Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Employment Authority and the Employment and Training Corporation under the Ministry of Education and Employment. The GRETA delegation also met the Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee and other members of the House of Representatives.

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 Chamber of Advocates of Malta. Discussions were also held with the Heads of the offices of the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malta, as well as with the Executive Director of the EUís European Asylum Support Office.

In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited the Government-run shelter for victims of domestic violence located in Santa Venera, which can also accommodate women victims of trafficking.

The visit was carried out by Ms Gulnara Shahinian, First Vice-President of GRETA and Mr Davor Derencinovic, Second Vice-President of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Carolina Lasťn Diaz and Mr Gerald Dunn of the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat.

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