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Second General Report on GRETA's activities
covering the period from 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012

Strasbourg, 4.10.2012 - In its 2nd General Report, published today, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) highlights some issues emerging from the first 10 country-by-country monitoring reports published since September 2011.

“In our free-market societies, human beings are an easy target for traffickers and exploiters who consider that women, men or children are mere commodities and that exploitation is justified by the economic situation and their alleged consent”, said Nicolas Le Coz, President of GRETA. “Fortunately, the European public order based on human rights – enshrined in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings – provides a powerful framework for the fight against human trafficking”, he added.

During the period covered by its 2nd General Report (August 2011 to July 2012), GRETA published reports evaluating the implementation of the Council of Europe Anti-trafficking Convention by the first 10 countries which ratified it. GRETA also carried out visits to the next 10 countries in order to collect information necessary for establishing its monitoring reports.

The General Report also provides information on GRETA’s co-operation with other intergovernmental organisations and civil society. The report stresses that partnerships are indispensable prerequisites for successful international action against trafficking in human beings.

GRETA expresses the hope that the area covered by the Convention will be expanded by further ratifications from Council of Europe member states, as well as non-member states and the European Union.

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The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) is the anti-trafficking monitoring body of the Council of Europe. GRETA was founded on the basis of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which came into force in 2008 and is currently in force in 37 countries in Europe. GRETA consists of 15 independent and impartial experts, who are elected by the Committee of the Parties to the Convention. According to the 2012 global estimate by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 20.9 million people are victims of forced labour across the world. This estimate captures virtually the full spectrum of human trafficking abuses, except for trafficking for organ removal, forced marriage or adoption (unless the latter practices result in forced labour).