On 21-22 November 2018, in Strasbourg, the Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking Division (GRETA) organised a meeting of specialised lawyers and NGOs providing legal assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings, following up on the first such meeting organised in November 2016, in co-operation with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee. The meeting brought together 37 participants from 21 States Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, who discussed experiences in the provision of legal assistance to victims of trafficking at different stages.
On 23 November 2018, GRETA published its second report on Azerbaijan. While noting the progress made in a number of areas, GRETA urged the Azerbaijani authorities to take measures to prevent trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, by reintroducing workplace inspections by labour inspectors and strengthening their mandate, regulating and monitoring the functioning of recruitment and temporary work agencies, and reviewing the regulatory system concerning domestic workers. Further, GRETA called upon the authorities to improve the detection and identification of victims of trafficking among irregular migrants and asylum seekers.
On 22 November 2018, GRETA published its second report on Ukraine, where it welcomed the increase in the number of persons granted the status of a victim of human trafficking, the setting up of specialised police units, and the designation of specialised prosecutors to investigate human trafficking cases. However, GRETA urged the Ukrainian authorities to step up their efforts to prevent trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, as well as trafficking in children, in particular children in institutional care, in street situations, “social orphans”, children from Roma communities, and unaccompanied or separated children. GRETA was also concerned by the increased vulnerability to trafficking of internally displaced persons from Crimea and the Eastern Ukrainian regions affected by the on-going armed conflict.