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 Lithuania on 25-29 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 Criminal Police Bureau and the State Border Guard Service, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, including the National Transplant Bureau and the State Health Care Accreditation Centre, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the National Courts Administration. Further, GRETA met representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Supreme Court. The delegation also held consultations with representatives of the Office of the Ombudsman for Equal Opportunities and the Office of the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights.
In addition to holding meetings in Vilnius, the GRETA delegation travelled to Tauragė and Klaipėda where it met representatives of the local commissions for co-ordination of action against trafficking in human beings, police officers, prosecutors and judges.
Separate meetings were held with representatives of non-governmental organisations and researchers. Further, the delegation met staff of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lithuania.
In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited a shelter for women victims of violence and trafficking in human beings, run by an NGO “Missing Persons Families Support Centre” in Vilnius. The delegation also visited the Foreigners’ Registration and Reception Centre of the State Border Guard Service in Pabradė.
The visit was carried out by Mr Rudolf Christoffersen and Ms Kateryna Levchenko, members of GRETA, who were accompanied by Mr David Dolidze of the Secretariat of the Convention.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report, which will be sent to the Lithuanian authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report, to be published in 2019.