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 from 10 to 15 June 2018. The visit provided an opportunity to assess progress in the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings since the first evaluation by GRETA in 2014.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met officials from the Ministry of the Interior, including the Migration Service and the Assistance System for Victims of Trafficking, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Justice, the National Police Board, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Border Guard. Moreover, GRETA met representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Supreme Court, as well as police officers and prosecutors in Helsinki and Oulu.
Further, the delegation held consultations with the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, Ms Kirsi Pimiä, who acts as National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as with the Ombudsman for Children, Mr Tuomas Kurttila. Discussions were also held with members of the Finnish Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Administration Committee and Employment and Equality Committee.
Separate meetings were held with representatives of non-governmental organisations, lawyers, researchers, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, as well as the International Organization for Migration.
In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited the unit for unaccompanied children at the Oulu Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers. In addition, the delegation visited a shelter for female victims of human trafficking and their children, a safe house for women victims of domestic violence in Helsinki, and a house run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oulu, offering short term accommodation for vulnerable men and women, including possible victims of labour exploitation.
The visit was carried out by Mr Davor Derenčinović and Ms Rita Theodorou Superman, members of GRETA, who were accompanied by Mr Mats Lindberg 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, to be published in 2019.