Regional Conference : Combating Labour Trafficking in Europe - Standards, Realities and New Strategies for Action
The conference is organised in the framework of the joint European Union - Council of Europe programme Horizontal Facility (HF) for the Western Balkans and Turkey. It is intended to contribute to the Council of Europe’s efforts to strengthen action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation.
Building on the work by the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human beings (GRETA) and the lessons learnt from the anti-trafficking projects implemented under the HF Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Serbia, the conference aims at raising awareness and increasing the understanding of the scope and nature of labour trafficking in the region and beyond, the challenges and strategies for combating it.
Regional Conference : Acting Together in the Face of Crisis - Protecting Children from Trafficking and Exploitation in the Western Balkans
Organised in the framework of the joint European Union - Council of Europe programme Horizontal Facility II for the Western Balkans and Turkey (2019-2022), the regional conference took stock of trends and new challenges in child trafficking, identified positive initiatives, and discussed areas where improvements can be induced through capacity building, co-ordination and co-operation.
Child trafficking in the Western Balkans region has continued to increase, despite a number of legislative and practical measures taken over the years. In the context of mixed migration flows, the number of unaccompanied or separated children in the region has grown, and there are challenges in ensuring their protection from trafficking and exploitation. The COVID-19 pandemic has made children even more vulnerable to trafficking, and there are reports of increased grooming and exploitation of children online.
The online event gathered over 130 participants from the region and beyond, who underscored the importance of placing the rights and best interests of the child at the heart of policies and practical measures to prevent and combat human trafficking.