|Council of Europe Convention|
|Committee of the Parties|
|GRETA Restricted access|
|Committee of the Parties Restricted access|
GRETA publishes report on Portugal
Strasbourg, 12.02.2013 – The Council of Europe expert group against human trafficking (GRETA) today called on the Portuguese authorities to improve the assistance provided to victims of trafficking in human beings, and to provide them with appropriate and safe accommodation.
In its first report on Portugal, which was published today, GRETA acknowledges that Portugal has taken important steps to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, although it also urges the authorities to take further measures to improve the identification of victims and the prosecution of traffickers.
GRETA expresses concern with the low number of convictions for human trafficking in Portugal and requests the authorities to identify gaps in the investigation procedure and in the presentation of cases in courts, so the offences can be effectively investigated and prosecuted.
Portugal has established a system to improve the identification of victims of human trafficking involving a multi-disciplinary team based in Porto. However, GRETA considers that this team has limited capacity to intervene and notes some reluctance among NGOs to report human trafficking cases for fear it may expose victims to the traffickers or to expulsion from the country.
To address this problem, GRETA urges the Portuguese authorities to ensure that in practice the identification of victims is dissociated from their participation in investigation and court proceedings, and that front-line professionals adopt a more proactive approach to the detection of victims.
The report also underlines that the Portuguese authorities should pay increased attention to detecting trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation and involve NGOs more in the planning and implementation of anti-trafficking measures.
The police and NGOs reported 479 possible victims between 2008 and 2011, but only 122 of them were officially recognised as victims of human trafficking. The majority of the identified victims came from Brazil (35%), Mozambique (15%) and Eastern European countries, Romania in particular (16%). There is also a growing number of Portuguese victims who are exploited in Portugal or in neighbouring countries.
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