A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out an evaluation visit to Norway on 20-24 September 2021 as part of the third evaluation round of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The focus of this evaluation round of the Convention is on trafficking victims’ access to justice and effective remedies. Prior to the visit, the Norwegian authorities provided a reply to GRETA’s questionnaire for the third evaluation round. In addition to the new thematic focus, GRETA verified how the main recommendations made in its second evaluation report have been implemented.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation held consultations with relevant departments and subordinate agencies of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, including the Department of Crime Prevention, the National Police Directorate, the Co-ordinating Unit for Victims of Trafficking (KOM), the Directorate of Immigration (UDI), the National Police Immigration Service (PU), the National Criminal Investigation Service and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Children and Families, the Ministry of Health and Care Services, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the National Labour Inspection Authority, Human Trafficking Support Oslo, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Oslo Regional Prosecution Office, and the National Court Administration. The visit was also an opportunity to meet representatives of the specialised police anti-trafficking units and the inter-agency centres against work-related crimes (A-Krim) in Oslo and Bergen, as well as to visit the Children’s House (Barnehus) in Bergen.
Further, the GRETA delegation met representatives of the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud, the Ombudsperson for Children, and the Parliamentary Ombud for Scrutiny of the Public Administration.
The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), lawyers representing victims of trafficking, trade union representatives and researchers. The visit provided an opportunity to go to several shelters and safe houses run by NGOs and have discussions with victims of trafficking.
The GRETA delegation also met representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The visit was carried out by Ms Antoaneta Vassileva, First Vice-President of GRETA, and Mr Thomas Ahlstrand, member of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Petya Nestorova, Executive Secretary of the Convention, and Ms Asja Žujo of the Secretariat of the Convention.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report, which will be sent to the Norwegian authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be published in the course of 2022.