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GRETA publishes report on Croatia
Strasbourg, 30.11.2011 - Today the Council of Europeís Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published its first evaluation report on Croatia.
In its report, GRETA welcomes the measures taken by the Croatian authorities to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings. These measures have included the appointment of a National Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and the establishment of a National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, which brings together all relevant actors, including non-governmental organisations. Furthermore, multi-disciplinary mobile teams have been set up to assist victims of trafficking as well as to participate in their identification.
That said, GRETA considers that the Croatian authorities should take further steps to raise public awareness and provide training to relevant professionals with a view to overcoming the existing prejudices against victims of trafficking. Specific economic and social measures, reflecting a gender-sensitive approach, should also be taken in respect of persons and groups vulnerable to trafficking in human beings.
Concerning identification, GRETA considers that there is a need for increased outreach work and a more proactive approach, in particular as regards child victims of trafficking and trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. The Croatian authorities should also adopt legislative and practical measures to facilitate access to compensation for trafficking victims.
Moreover, GRETA considers that the application of the criminal legislation could be improved by providing additional training to legal professionals in order to ensure that traffickers are prosecuted and receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of the offence.
Prior to drawing up its evaluation report, GRETA held consultations with the relevant authorities and non-governmental organisations active in the field of combating trafficking in human beings in Croatia. A confidential draft of the report was sent to the Croatian authorities and their comments were taken into account in the final report adopted by GRETA. This report is published together with the final comments of the Croatian authorities, as provided for by the Convention.
On the basis of GRETAís report, the Committee of the Parties to the Convention will consider adopting recommendations addressed to the Government of Croatia.