An important added value of the Council of Europe anti-trafficking Convention is the monitoring mechanism set up to supervise State Parties compliance with the obligations contained in the Convention. It consists of two pillars:
- an independent expert body, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), which is composed of 15 members who sit in their individual capacity and are selected on the basis of their expertise in the areas covered by the Convention;
- the Committee of the Parties, which is composed of representatives of the Parties to the Convention.
GRETA evaluates periodically each State Party and draws up evaluation reports. GRETA has to date published over 130 country evaluation reports.
The evaluation procedure is divided into rounds. Since 2010, GRETA has conducted three evaluation rounds of the Convention and, in July 2023, it launched the fourth evaluation round.
Launching of the evaluation round
All States Parties must follow all evaluation rounds unless otherwise decided unanimously by GRETA. The first evaluation round is launched at the earliest one year and at the latest two years after the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned.
GRETA sends a questionnaire to the authorities of the Party undergoing evaluation. It also sends the questionnaire to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the ﬁeld of action against traﬃcking in human beings. GRETA may send other requests for information to States Parties.
Following the reception of the questionnaire, GRETA may conduct on-site visits. This visit allows to hold meetings with relevant actors, collect additional information, clarify the responses to the questionnaire, and assess the practical implementation of adopted measures in-depth discussions with relevant professionals. government oﬃcials, police, prosecutors, parliamentarians and other relevant actors.
Draft GRETA report
Following the conduct of the country visit, GRETA draws up a draft evaluation report. The draft report is discussed and approved at a GRETA plenary meeting and is sent to the relevant national authorities for comments. The draft report is confidential.
Final GRETA report and comments by the government
Following the receipt of the government’s comments, GRETA draws up a final report which is adopted at another plenary meeting, and transmitted to the Party concerned and the Committee of the Parties to the Convention. GRETA’s final reports are made public together with eventual comments by the Party concerned.
Recommendation by the Committee of the Parties
On the basis of the report and conclusions of GRETA, the Committee of the Parties adopts recommendations addressed to the government of the Party concerned, setting a date for submitting information on te implementation of the recommendation.
Governement's reply to the Recommendation of the Committee of the Parties
The Government’s reply to the Committee of the Parties’ recommendation is presented at a meeting of the Committee and is subsequently made public. The replies can be found on the country monitoring webpage for each State Party.
End of the evaluation
Role of contact persons
appointed to liaise with GRETA
By virtue of the Convention, Parties are obliged to co-operate with GRETA in the provision of the requested information (see Article 38 (2) of the Convention).
In order to ensure the smooth running of the evaluation, each Party to the Convention is requested to appoint a contact person to liaise with GRETA. The contact person should be within the government structure and, as far as possible, be responsible for co-ordinating national policies to combat trafficking in human beings, as well as the action of all actors involved in this field.
The contact person receives GRETA’s questionnaire and is responsible for:
- distributing it to the different national bodies concerned, co-ordinating their replies
- and submitting to GRETA a consolidated version of the official reply to the questionnaire
The contact person is also expected to co-operate with GRETA in the organisation of the country visit and on other issues relating to the evaluation of the implementation of the Convention.
GRETA urgent requests for information
on situations requiring immediate attention
In addition to the monitoring procedure, if GRETA receives reliable information indicating a situation in which problems require immediate attention in order to prevent or limit the scale or number of serious violations of the Convention, it may address an urgent request for information to any State Party.
- GRETA may designate rapporteurs to assess the situation,
- and, if necessary, carry out a visit to the Party concerned
- GRETA shall transmit its findings and conclusions to the Party concerned
- and shall make them public, together with eventual comments from the Party.
Levels of urgency of GRETA recommendations
GRETA uses three different levels of recommendations in its reports:
“URGE” - when GRETA assesses that the national legislation or policies are not in compliance with the Convention, or when it finds that, despite the existence of legal provisions and other measures, the implementation of a key obligation under the Convention is lacking.
“CONSIDER” - when GRETA assesses that it is necessary to make further improvements to fully comply with a provision of the Convention
“INVITE” - when GRETA assesses that the measures taken to comply with a provision of the Convention are already in place and should be continued and fully implemented in practice