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 Malta from 28 September to 1 October 2020 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 Maltese 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 have been implemented.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met Ms Rosianne Cutajar, Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reforms, and officials from relevant ministries and agencies, in particular the Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement, the Ministry for Health, the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations, the Foundation for Social Welfare Services, the Jobsplus, the International Protection Agency, the Human Rights Directorate, the Identity Malta Agency, and the Legal Aid Agency. In addition, meetings were held with Ms Victoria Buttigieg, Attorney General, representatives of the judiciary and relevant police services. The delegation also met the Ombudsman for Children, Ms Pauline Miceli, and members of the Maltese Parliament’s Social Affairs Committee.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met representatives of non-governmental organisations and a lawyer representing victims of trafficking. Discussions were also held with 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 the Safi Barracks Detention Centre for immigrants.
The visit was carried out by Ms Julia Planitzer, member of GRETA, who was accompanied by Mr Mesut Bedirhanoglu of the Secretariat of the Convention. Mr Kevin Hyland, member of GRETA, who could not travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, joined the meetings via videoconference.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report which will be sent to the Maltese authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report, to be published in 2021.