Open Your Eyes to Human Trafficking Open Your Eyes to Human Trafficking


What we do

The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 3 May 2005, following a series of other initiatives by the Council of Europe in the field of combating trafficking in human beings. The Convention entered into force on 1 February 2008, following its 10th ratification. While building on existing international instruments, the Convention goes beyond the minimum standards agreed upon in them and strengthens the protection afforded to victims.

The Convention has a comprehensive scope of application, encompassing all forms of trafficking (whether national or transnational, linked or not linked to organised crime) and taking in all persons who are victims of trafficking (women, men or children). The forms of exploitation covered by the Convention are, at a minimum, sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude and the removal of organs.

The main added value of the Convention is its human rights perspective and focus on victim protection. Its Preamble defines trafficking in human beings as a violation of human rights and an offence to the dignity and integrity of the human being.



12th European Anti-Trafficking Day

On 18 October, European Day against Trafficking in Human Beings, the exhibition “Open Your Eyes to Human Trafficking” was inaugurated in front of the main building of the Council of Europe, the Palais de l’Europe, in Strasbourg. The exhibition is an initiative of the Dutch NGO CoMensha, which acts as the national co-ordination centre against human trafficking in the Netherlands, and the Open Mind Foundation and includes photographs by Ernst Coppejans Photography. It recounts the stories of 30 women, men and children who have fallen victim to human trafficking. These are 30 compelling and courageous individuals crossing the barriers of fear and shame to claim recognition, both for themselves as human beings and for the issue of human trafficking. The exhibition was brought to Strasbourg with the support of the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the Council of Europe and will remain in place until 22 November 2018.

On the same occasion, the Council of Europe organised a screening of the award-winning documentary film “Modern Slavery” and a discussion with Dr Tina Davis, a Norwegian TV and film director and doctor of sociology, who is currently working for the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights as a senior advisor and leading the initiative for a Norwegian modern slavery law.

To raise public awareness of human trafficking, the Council of Europe joined the initiative of the Italian Helpline for victims of trafficking by releasing orange balloons with the message #FREEYOURDREAM.

Event partners:

More information and photos:

Council of Europe Human Rights Channel

Council of Europe

 Council of Europe

 Council of Europe

 Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking