Poland: progress made against human trafficking, but labour exploitation not sufficiently addressed

Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) Strasbourg 17 November 2017
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In a report published today, the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking expert group (GRETA) assesses developments since the publication of GRETA’s first evaluation report on Poland in May 2013 on the implementation of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Experts note progress in the legal framework for combating trafficking in human beings and the provision of training to a wider range of professionals and awareness-raising. GRETA welcomes the setting up of regional anti-trafficking teams, bringing together representatives of the authorities and civil society, and the appointment of anti-trafficking focal points at the Police, Border Guard and Prosecutor’s Office. Improvements have been made to protect victims’ rights, including guidelines and indicators to better identify trafficking victims among asylum seekers and irregular migrants.

But some areas require improvement. The number of persons trafficked to Poland for the purpose of forced labour has grown over the years, according to the report. GRETA asks the Polish authorities to review arrangements for employment of third-country nationals, in order to prevent exploitative practices, and to strengthen inspections in sectors considered at risk of trafficking. The authorities should take a proactive approach to identifying trafficking victims, including in detention centres.

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