Study Visit to Belgium for labour inspectors and police investigators from Bosnia and Herzegovina on best practices of the fight against trafficking

Brussels 5 to 7 October 2022

GRETA’s third evaluation report on Bosnia and Herzegovina, published in May 2022, underlined a need for clear operational instructions and capacity building of frontline professionals - labour inspectors – in detection, identification and referral of cases of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation.

To support the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the State Anti-trafficking Coordinator in implementing the GRETA’s recommendation, the Council of Europe action Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in Bosnia and Herzegovina organised a study visit to Belgium, Brussels, from 5 to 7 October 2022, for labour inspectors and  investigators, who have successfully completed the basic and advanced training sessions on THB for the purpose of labour exploitation within the action.

A delegation of 14 labour inspectors and police investigators from Republika Srpska, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Brčko district were welcomed by the representative of the Ministry of Justice, Jean-Francois Minet, President of the coordination Bureau, who provided an overview of the Belgian anti-trafficking model.

Other anti-trafficking professionals from Belgium who addressed the delegation were Matthieu Simon (Attorney General’s Prosecutor, Coordinator of the expertise network of specialised magistrates on THB), Ann Lukowiak (Federal Prosecutor in the field of  trafficking/smuggling in human beings), Patricia Le Coco, (Head of Department Human trafficking and human smuggling, and legal expert at the Federal Migration Center Myria), Sarah Dehovre (Director of PAG-ASA, victim support NGO), Stephanie Defoer (Attachée from the Immigration Office) and Stephanie Schulze and Bruno Deville, labour inspectors at the Social Inspection Service.

Bosnia and Herzegovina anti-trafficking professionals learned about the anti-trafficking policy and legislation in Belgium, as well as were introduced to the work of the competent institutions and victim assistance services. Issuing residence permits for foreign victims, supporting the reintegration into society of all victims and the access to legal redress and compensation were also part of the agenda. BiH labour inspectors discussed with their peers real life cases and good practices in daily work, which will help improve the detection of potential victims of THB.   

The action „Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Bosnia and Herzegovina“ is implemented under the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme „Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022“.

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