GRETA welcomes the new EU Anti-Human Trafficking strategy
At its 14th meeting (25-29 June 2012), the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) considered the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016. The publication of the Strategy on 19 June 2012 was preceded by consultations with a series of stakeholders, including the Council of Europe.
GRETA welcomes the Strategy’s comprehensive scope and focus on concrete measures aimed to step up action against trafficking in human beings. The Strategy refers to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and urges those EU Member States which have not yet done so, to ratify it.*The Strategy also stresses that the judgment of the European Court on Human Rights in the case Rantsev v Cyprus and Russia (2010) provides a decisive human rights benchmark with clear obligations for EU Member States to take the necessary steps to address different areas of trafficking in human beings.
GRETA notes that the European Commission intends to “establish effective monitoring and evaluation procedures that do not create repetitive reporting mechanisms” and to “exploit as far as possible existing reporting mechanisms in the field of trafficking in human beings”. In this context, GRETA welcomes the reference made to its reports and stresses that it is important to avoid unnecessary duplication of monitoring operations. GRETA is currently the only independent mechanism monitoring the implementation of international legally binding obligations against trafficking in human beings. GRETA’s country evaluation reports provide an authoritative source of information on different aspects of the fight against human trafficking, including identifying gaps, needs and good practices in the States monitored.
One of the five priorities of the Strategy is to improve the identification of victims of trafficking. Indeed, GRETA’s evaluation reports reveal the need to adopt a more proactive, multi-disciplinary approach to identification, which requires the setting up of coherent national referral mechanisms and providing training to all relevant professionals.
Another priority of the Strategy is to enhance co-ordination and co-operation among key actors to combat human trafficking. GRETA is committed to continuing its partnership with the European Union to improve the exchange of information and ensure co-operation in the areas covered by the Strategy which fall within GRETA’s mandate.
* 21 EU Member States have ratified the Council of Europe Convention and a further five have signed it.
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