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 Bosnia and Herzegovina from 6-10 September 2021 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 authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina 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 the State Ministries of Security, Human Rights and Refugees, Justice, and Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives of law enforcement, the Prosecutors’ Office and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The GRETA delegation also met with relevant ministries and agencies in Republika Srpska, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Brčko District, including representatives of law enforcement, prosecutor’s offices, the judiciary, training centres for prosecutors and the judiciary, legal aid centres, and Ombudsperson’s offices. The visit was an opportunity to meet representatives of the newly established local co-ordination teams for combating trafficking in human beings.
The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) providing assistance to victims of human trafficking, victims of human trafficking and lawyers providing legal assistance to them.
Further, the GRETA delegation met representatives of the European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited the Ušivak Temporary Reception Centre for migrants, including unaccompanied children, in the Hadžići Municipality.
The visit was carried out by Ms Julia Planitzer, Second Vice-President of GRETA, and Mr Sergey Ghazinyan, member of GRETA, who were accompanied by Mr Mesut Bedirhanoglu and Ms Asja Žujo of the Secretariat of the Convention.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report, which will be sent to the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be published in the course of 2022.