On 2 December 2019, the Council of Europe and the Czech Judicial Academy held a seminar in Prague to launch the online course of combating trafficking in human beings developed under the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe. The seminar was attended by 26 Czech judges, prosecutors and judicial assistants
The seminar started with a welcome address by Jana Zapletalová Koláčková from the Czech Judicial Academy, who is also the Czech HELP Focal Point. Ana-Maria Telbis, co-ordinator of the EU-CoE ‘HELP in the EU’ project presented the HELP Programme of the Council of Europe and its e-learning platform containing 34 online courses.
The morning session continued with a presentation by Petya Nestorova, Head of Division and Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, who introduced participants to the work carried out by the Council of Europe and the key findings and recommendations of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). She also introduced the participants to the HELP course on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings.
Parosha Chandran, Professor at King’s College London and co-author of the HELP online course on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings, presented the key definitions and concepts, giving an overview of relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, and focusing on the implementation of the non-punishment principle.
Participants met the tutors who will accompany them in the implementation of the course for the following three months, namely Jana Zezulová, Public Prosecutor at the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office and Jana Zapletalová Koláčková from the Czech Judicial Academy. Following the launch event, all participants will be enrolled on the course page and will go through the online course. Those who successfully complete the course will receive HELP certificates issued by the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe HELP online course on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings is also available to any legal professional interested in the topic, in the self-learning part of the HELP e-learning platform, in English, Russian and Serbian and will soon be made available in Czech. The course was developed in 2017 and explores the topics in a practical way, by using interactive screens, knowledge tests and reflective exercises. It is structured in the following modules: Introduction and legal framework; Definitions and legal concepts; Identification of victims of human trafficking; Assistance for victims of human trafficking; Non-punishment principle; Investigation, Prosecution and victims’ rights; Sentencing; Compensation for victims of human trafficking; Return and repatriation.