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GRETA publishes its third report on Finland

In a new report published on 10 June 2024, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has called on Finland to strengthen the criminal justice response to human trafficking and to provide victims with compensation and specialised assistance.

The report reveals a significant increase in the number of identified trafficking victims, from 229 in 2019 to 367 in 2022. Nearly half of the victims were trafficked for the purpose of labour exploitation, followed by sexual exploitation (25%) and forced marriage (21%). Half of the identified victims were exploited in other countries before seeking asylum in Finland.

Since the publication of GRETA’s previous evaluation report in 2019, Finland has made progress in a number of areas, including legislative amendments to the procedure for the identification of victims of trafficking and the permanent establishment of a Government anti-trafficking coordinator. Human trafficking has also been added to the list of offences for which the Occupational Safety and Health Authority has an obligation to notify the police.

However, GRETA’s new report is pointing out several areas where improvement is needed.

GRETA is concerned by the fact that proceeds of crime are rarely frozen or seized in human trafficking cases and victims’ access to compensation is not guaranteed in practice. Therefore, the expert group urges the Finnish authorities to systematically carry out financial investigations with a view to freezing criminal assets, and to review the eligibility criteria for state compensation.

GRETA also notes with concern the low number of prosecutions and convictions in human trafficking cases and the excessive length of criminal proceedings. The anti-trafficking experts urge the authorities to ensure that human trafficking offences are proactively and promptly investigated and lead to effective sanctions for those convicted. The authorities should also allocate sufficient human and financial resources and training to the police and the prosecution services.

The expert group welcomes the measures taken to prevent and combat trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, in particular the strengthening of the mandate and resources of labour inspectors, the development of a multi-agency co-operation model, and adoption of several legislative changes, such as the “Berry Law”. Nevertheless, GRETA considers that the authorities should adopt further measures to protect domestic workers and wild products pickers against human trafficking.

GRETA also asks the Finnish authorities to introduce without further delay a National Referral Mechanism which promotes a multi-agency approach to victim identification and allows the sharing of information between different actors.

According to the report, there is a need for a more proactive approach to identify child victims of trafficking, by paying particular attention to children absconding from institutional care, children trafficked for forced criminality, unaccompanied children and children recruited or exploited online.

Finally, GRETA urges the Finnish authorities to ensure that all victims of trafficking, including men, are provided with accommodation that is safe and suitable for their needs.

 GRETA and Finland

The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) is an independent body which monitors the way countries implement the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. All 46 member states of the Council of Europe are bound by the Convention, as well as non-member states Belarus and Israel.


Monitoring Strasbourg, France 10 June 2024
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