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GRETA publishes report on Austria

Strasbourg, 15.09.2011 - The Council of Europeís Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published today its first evaluation report on Austria.

In its report, GRETA notes the significant measures taken by the Austrian authorities to combat trafficking in human beings. These measures have included the setting up of a co-ordinating body to combat trafficking in human beings and efforts to raise public awareness and train professionals. Moreover, special procedures to prevent trafficking for the purpose of domestic servitude in diplomatic households have been introduced.

However, GRETA considers that the Austrian authorities should pay more attention to certain categories of victims of trafficking. Irregular migrants are a group vulnerable to trafficking and therefore GRETA asks the authorities to enforce an effective identification system and to ensure that potential victims of trafficking amongst foreign nationals detained by the police benefit from assistance and protection.

As far as children are concerned, GRETA urges the Austrian authorities to develop a nationwide system for the identification of child victims of trafficking and to provide them with emergency assistance as well as medium and long term support programmes tailored to their needs.
In its report, GRETA also asks the Austrian authorities to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the criminal law provisions concerning trafficking in human beings so as to improve the conviction rate for human trafficking offences.
Prior to drawing up its evaluation report, GRETA held consultations with the relevant authorities and non-governmental and international organisations active in the field of combating trafficking in human beings in Austria. A confidential first draft of the report was sent to the Austrian authorities and their comments were taken into account in the final evaluation report adopted by GRETA. This report is published together with the final comments of the Austrian authorities, as provided for by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. 

On the basis of GRETAís report, the Committee of the Parties to the Convention will consider adopting recommendations addressed to the Government of Austria.