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Third meeting of specialised lawyers and NGOs providing legal assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings

Strasbourg 21-22 November 2022
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Third meeting of specialised lawyers and NGOs providing legal assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings

On 21-22 November 2022, the Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking Division organised a meeting of the network of specialised lawyers and NGOs providing legal assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings. The event brought together some 40 lawyers from 21 States Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

During the first day of the meeting Petya Nestorova, Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, presented an overview of GRETA’s monitoring findings under the third evaluation round of the Convention, with a focus of victims’ access to justice and effective remedies. Davor Derenčinović, judge of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and Krešimir Kamber, lawyer at the Registry of the ECHR, discussed with the participants the recent case-law of the Court related to human trafficking. Parosha Chandran, human rights barrister and Professor of Modern Slavery Law at King’s College, London, shared her experience of submitting cases to the ECHR and explained how to lodge a case with the United Nations Human Rights Committee. A legal commentary on the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings was presented by Helmut Sax, senior researcher at the Ludwig Bolzman Institute, Vienna.

The second day was devoted to an exchange on strategic litigation and presentation of cases and projects from different countries. The participants also set up three working groups to discuss issues related to the role of lawyers in the identification of victims, the application of the non-punishment provision, and claiming of compensation for victims of human trafficking. The meeting was concluded by a reflection on steps to be taken to facilitate exchange and sharing of information within the network.