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 Croatia from 16 to 20 September 2019 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 Croatian authorities provided a reply to GRETA’s questionnaire for the third evaluation round. In addition to the new thematic focus, GRETA examines how the main recommendations made in its second evaluation report on Croatia have been implemented.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met Mr Alen Tahiri, Director of the Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities and National Co-ordinator for Combating Human Trafficking, as well as members of the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking and its Operational Team. Amongst the officials met by GRETA were representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science and Education, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of Labour, the Labour Inspectorate, the Croatian Labour Agency, the State Attorney’s Office, as well as members of the judiciary. The delegation also held meetings with the Deputy Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsperson for Children and representatives from the Office of the Ombudsperson for Gender Equality.
Furthermore, the GRETA delegation travelled to Rijeka where it met members of the mobile team against human trafficking which is involved in the identification of victims of trafficking and their referral to assistance.
In addition, meetings were held with representatives of non-governmental organisations and lawyers. The GRETA delegation also met representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited a shelter for victims of human trafficking as well as the reception centre for foreigners in Ježevo.
The visit was carried out by Mr Ryszard Piotrowicz, First Vice-President of GRETA, and Mr Francesco Curcio, member of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Ursula Sticker of the Secretariat of the Convention.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report which will be sent to the Croatian authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report, to be published in 2020.