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.



Forthcoming: Conference marking the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

Conference Programme

Background Paper

The conference “Ten years of implementation of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: impact and challenges ahead”, organised during the Croatian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, will be held on 22 May 2018 at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, France.

The conference will examine the impact of the Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking Convention on State Parties’ law, policy and practice, and in particular on improving the situation and rights of victims of trafficking. An emphasis will be put on the human rights-based and victim-centred approach of the Convention and the positive obligations of States to prevent trafficking, protect victims, prosecute traffickers and engage in international co-operation in order to achieve the purposes of the Convention.

At the same time, this will be an occasion to analyse remaining gaps in the implementation of the Convention, new challenges and innovative ways to address them. The conference will emphasise the importance of having a monitoring mechanism which measures progress and will serve as a platform for promoting the Convention beyond Europe. It will bring together political leaders, anti-trafficking experts, civil society activists, as well as representatives of academia and business.

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