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 Sweden on 24-28 October 2022 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 Swedish authorities provided a reply [LINK] 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 [LINK] have been implemented.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met Ms Anna Ekstedt, Ambassador-at-large for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Ms Janna Davidsson, National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, and Ms Elisabeth Dahlin, the Ombudsman for Children. Consultations were also held with the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, the Ministry of Justice, the National Courts Administration, the Prosecution Authority, the Police Authority, the National Board of Health and Welfare, the National Board of Institutional Care, the Work Environment Agency, the National Agency for Education, the Migration Agency, the Crime Victim Authority, the National Council for Crime Prevention, the Social Services (including the regional co-ordinator against prostitution and human trafficking), and the Inspection for Healthcare and Welfare. Furthermore, the delegation met the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Committee on Justice of the Swedish Parliament.
In addition to holding meetings in Stockholm, GRETA’s delegation travelled to Gothenburg where it met representatives of the Regional Centre against Labour Criminality, the Police Authority and the regional co-ordinators against prostitution and human trafficking.
The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with non-governmental organisations and lawyers representing victims of trafficking. It also met a representative of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS).
The visit provided an opportunity to visit two shelters for women and children victims of domestic violence in Stockholm (which can also accommodate victims of human trafficking), a home for children and youth, and an accommodation centre operated by the Migration Agency in Stockholm. Further, GRETA visited the counselling centre Mikamottagningen in Gothenburg where persons who have been trafficked for sexual purposes can receive advice, support and assistance in planning their safe return.
The visit was carried out by Ms Julia Planitzer, Second Vice-President of GRETA, and Ms Svala Olafsdottir, member of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Asja Žujo and Mr Yuriy Paltsev of the Secretariat of the Convention.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report, which will be sent to the Swedish authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be published in the second half of 2023.