GRETA publishes second report on Finland

Strasbourg 05/06/2019
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Jani Riekkinen /

Jani Riekkinen /

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published today its second evaluation report on Finland. The report assesses developments since the publication of GRETA’s first evaluation report on Finland in March 2015 as regards the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

According to the report, progress had been made in a number of areas, such as developing the legislative framework for combating trafficking in human beings, conducting research, raising awareness and providing training to a range of professionals, including health-care staff and social workers. Successful use has been made of existing legislation for prosecution of offences related to human trafficking committed by legal entities. Moreover, Finland has supported projects in countries of origin of victims of trafficking.

However, there are several areas which require improvement, according to the report. GRETA calls on the Finnish authorities to take steps to improve the proactive identification of victims of human trafficking and the sharing of information between relevant actors. Further, GRETA urges the authorities to ensure that assistance is adapted to the victims’ specific needs and is guaranteed to all victims of trafficking across the country, regardless of the service provider and place of residence.

GRETA welcomes the opening of a shelter specialised in assisting female victims of trafficking and their children, but calls for more such specialised shelters, including for male victims of trafficking.

Further, GRETA urges the Finnish authorities to ensure that unaccompanied and separated migrant children arriving in Finland benefit from effective care arrangements, including safe and appropriate accommodation. The police should systematically carry out investigations into disappearances of migrant children and strengthen follow-up and alert systems on reports of missing children.

The number of victims of trafficking in human beings in Finland has more than tripled since 2015. From 52 newly detected presumed victims in 2015, the number increased to 163 in 2018. The most common purpose of trafficking in human beings in Finland is labour exploitation, followed by sexual exploitation, forced criminality and forced marriage. The majority of the presumed victims were exploited before their arrival in Finland.