Back GRETA carries out third evaluation visit to Finland

Monitoring Finland 22-26 May 2023
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GRETA carries out third evaluation visit to Finland

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 Finland on 22-26 May 2023 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 Finnish 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 met Ms Venla Roth, Government Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Ms Kristina Stenman, National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, and Ms Elina Pekkarinen, the Ombudsman for Children. Consultations were also held with the Ministry of the Interior, the Immigration Service and the Assistance System for Victims of Trafficking, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Police Board, the Border Guard, and the Child and Social Services of the City of Helsinki. Discussions were also held with representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Supreme Court. Moreover, GRETA met representatives of the Finnish Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Administration Committee and Employment and Equality Committee.

In addition to holding meetings in Helsinki, GRETA’s delegation travelled to Turku where it met police officers, prosecutors, judges, representatives of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland and civil society representatives.

The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with non-governmental organisations and lawyers representing victims of trafficking. It also met representatives of the International Organization for Migration and the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI).

The visit provided an opportunity to visit a shelter for victims of domestic violence which also accommodates victims of human trafficking and an accommodation centre for unaccompanied children in Helsinki, as well as a reception centre for asylum seekers operated by the Finnish Red Cross in Turku.

The visit was carried out by Mr Thomas Ahlstrand and Ms Biljana Lubarovska, members of GRETA, who were accompanied by Mr Mesut Bedirhanoglu of the Secretariat of the Convention.

Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report, which will be sent to the Finnish authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be published in 2024.

 See also: Country monitoring | Finland