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 Iceland on 7-9 November 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 Icelandic 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 officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (Directorate of Labour and Directorate of Occupational Health and Safety), the Ministry of Education and Children, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Prosecutor’s Office, the Police, the Centre for Police Training and Professional Development, the Directorate of Immigration, the National Agency for Children and Families, and Reykjavík City social and child protection services. Furthermore, the delegation met the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Judicial Affairs and Education Committee of the Icelandic Parliament (Alþingi).
The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with non-governmental organisations, trade unions and lawyers representing victims of trafficking.
The visit provided an opportunity to visit the Women’s Shelter in Reykjavík, which can accommodate female victims of human trafficking, the Family Justice Centre for survivors of violence Bjarkarhlið, the Barnahus (Children’s house), as well as the reception centre and the emergency accommodation centre for asylum seekers.
The visit was carried out by Ms Dorothea Winkler and Mr Francesco Curcio, 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 Icelandic authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be published in the second half of 2023.