Ministers’ Deputies
Information documents

CM/Inf(2008)28 9 June 20081
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Council of Europe’s action to combat trafficking in human beings

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I. Introduction

Trafficking in human beings constitutes a violation of human rights and is an offence to the dignity and the integrity of the human being. To fight this modern form of slavery, the Council of Europe adopted (2005) a comprehensive treaty aimed at preventing trafficking, protecting the human rights of its victims and prosecuting the traffickers.

Every year, an increasing number of people fall victim to trafficking, mainly for sexual exploitation (43%), but also for forced labour or services (32%). The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates the numbers at over 2.45 million. Most of the identified victims of trafficking are women, but men and children are also victims. All are desperate to make a living, only to have their lives ruined by exploitation. They are lured by adverts in their home countries for jobs abroad as fashion models, waiters, household employees, etc.

Since the late 1980s, the Council of Europe has been active in the fight against trafficking in human beings. The Organisation has, among its member states countries of origin, transit and destination of the victims of trafficking. All these countries are directly concerned by the scourge of trafficking.

As far back as 1991, a Seminar on Action Against Trafficking in Women, considered as a violation of human rights and human dignity, was organised by the Council of Europe. Then, through the Group of Experts on traffic in women (1992-93), which reported to the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG), the Council of Europe identified the most urgent areas for action which were included in a Plan of action against trafficking in women. The Plan proposed areas for reflection and investigation in view of making recommendations to the member states on legislative, judicial and punishment aspects of trafficking; on assisting, supporting and rehabilitating its victims and on prevention programmes.

Trafficking aroused the collective concern of Council of Europe Heads of State and Government at the Strasbourg Summit (October 1997): the final declaration states that violence against women and all forms of sexual exploitation of women constitute a threat to citizens' security and democracy. Numerous activities have been organised since the Second Summit. Initially activities aimed to raise awareness and encourage action. The Council of Europe organised seminars to heighten the awareness of governments and civil society to this new form of slavery in order to alert the different players (police, judges, social workers, embassy staff, teachers etc) to their role vis-à-vis trafficking victims and the dangers facing certain individuals. In addition, member states were encouraged to draw up national action plans against trafficking. Studies and research were also carried out to apprehend the problem of trafficking from its many different angles. In particular the CDEG prepared a report on the Impact of the use of new information technologies on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

In addition, targeted seminars and meetings of experts were organised in many member states, providing them with both the necessary technical assistance for drawing up or revising legislation in this area and assisting them to adopt the necessary measures for combating this scourge. In particular, the LARA Project to support the reform of criminal legislation in South-East Europe as a means of preventing and combating trafficking in human beings (July 2002–November 2003). This Council of Europe Project, implemented within the framework of the Stability Pact Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings, enabled the participating countries to adapt and review their national legislation in this field. As a result of this Project, nearly all the participating countries adopted national action plans against trafficking in human beings, covering prevention, prosecution of traffickers and protection of the victims.

The awareness-raising activities led to setting up a legal framework for combating trafficking in human beings. The Committee of Ministers adopted two legal texts dealing specifically with trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation, most of whose victims are women and children: Recommendation No. R (2000)11 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and Recommendation Rec(2001)16 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of children against sexual exploitation.

In the Action Plan adopted during the Third Summit of the Council of Europe, the Heads of State and Government of the member States firmly condemned trafficking in human beings which undermines the enjoyment of human rights and is an offence to the dignity and integrity of the human being. They welcomed the opening for signature at the Summit of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (hereinafter the Convention) and called for its widest possible ratification and swift entry into force. They stated that this was a major step in the fight against trafficking which would strengthen the prevention of trafficking, the effective prosecution of its perpetrators and the protection of the human rights of the victims. They also stressed that the independent monitoring mechanism set up by the Convention would ensure its effective implementation by the Parties. Finally, they pointed out the need to ensure close co-operation between the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the European Union and the OSCE in this field.

II. The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

On 3 May 2005, the Committee of Ministers adopted the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings [CETS No. 197] . The Convention was opened for signature in Warsaw on
16 May 2005 on the occasion of the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe. On 24 October 2007, the Convention received its tenth ratification thereby triggering the process by which it entered into force on 1 February 2008 with regard to the following countries: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Georgia, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia. It has since been ratified by a further seven countries and will enter into force with regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Malta and Norway on 1 May 2008, in Portugal on 1 June 2008, in Latvia on 1 July 2008 and in Armenia on 1 August 2008.

The Convention has also been signed, but not yet ratified by 21 other member states: Andorra, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Nine member states (Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey) have not yet signed it.

This new Convention, the first European treaty in this field, is a comprehensive treaty focussing mainly on the protection of victims of trafficking and the safeguard of their rights. It also aims to prevent trafficking and to prosecute traffickers. In addition, the Convention provides for the setting up of an effective and independent monitoring mechanism capable of controlling the implementation of the obligations contained in the Convention.

The Convention is not restricted to Council of Europe member states; non-members states and the European Community also have the possibility of becoming Party to the Convention.

The Convention is currently available in 15 languages of Council of Europe member states.

1. Scope of the Convention

The Council of Europe Convention is the first international legally binding instrument which affirms that trafficking in human beings constitutes a violation of human rights and is an offence to the dignity and integrity of the human being. It applies to all victims of trafficking: women, men and children. No other international text defines victims, leaving it to each State to define who is a victim and therefore deserves the measures of protection and assistance. In the Convention a victim is any person who is subject to trafficking as defined in the Convention. The consent of a victim to the exploitation is irrelevant. The Convention applies to all forms of exploitation: sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude and removal of organs; and it covers all forms of trafficking: national and transnational, related or not to organised crime.

2. Main measures provided by the Convention

· Awareness-raising for persons vulnerable to trafficking and actions aimed at discouraging "consumers" are among the main measures to prevent trafficking in human beings.
· Victims of trafficking must be recognised as such in order to avoid police and public authorities treating them as illegal migrants or criminals.
· Victims of trafficking will be granted physical and psychological assistance and support for their reintegration into society. Medical treatment, counselling and information as well as appropriate accommodation are all among the measures provided. Victims are also entitled to receive compensation.
· Victims are entitled to a minimum of 30 days to recover and escape from the influence of the traffickers and to take a decision regarding their possible co-operation with the authorities. A renewable residence permit may be granted if their personal situation so requires or if they need to stay in order to cooperate in a criminal investigation.
· Trafficking will be considered as a criminal offence: traffickers and their accomplices will therefore be prosecuted.
· The private life and the safety of victims of trafficking will be protected throughout the course of judicial proceedings.
· Possibility to criminalise those who use the services of a victim if they aware that the person is a victim of trafficking in human beings.
· The Convention provides the possibility of not imposing penalties on victims for their involvement in unlawful activities, if they were compelled to do so by their situation.
· Civil society has an important role to play as regards prevention of trafficking and protection of the victims. Consequently, the Convention encourages the co-operation between public authorities, non-governmental organisations and members of civil society.

3. Monitoring implementation of the Convention

The effectiveness of all treaties is measured by the effectiveness of their monitoring mechanism. Experience proves that, in areas where independent human rights monitoring mechanisms exist, as is the case in the fields of torture and national minorities for example, they have high credibility as a result to the quality of their reports and conclusions resulting from the monitoring procedure carried out by independent and impartial members.

The independent monitoring mechanism of the Convention is one of its main strengths. Convention’s Chapter VII – Monitoring Mechanism (Articles 36, 37 and 38) lays down the provisions aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the Convention by the Parties.

The entry into force of the Convention triggers the setting up of its monitoring mechanism which, in accordance with the Convention, must be in place one year after its entry into force. The monitoring mechanism consists of two pillars:

· the Group of Experts against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), a technical body, composed of independent and highly qualified experts, and
· the Committee of the Parties, a more political body, composed of the representatives in the Committee of Ministers of the Parties to the Convention and of representatives of Parties non-members of the Council of Europe.

GRETA is responsible for monitoring implementation of the Convention by the Parties. GRETA will regularly publish reports evaluating the measures taken by the Parties and those Parties which do not fully respect the measures contained in the Convention will be required to step up their action.

The Committee of the Parties may also, on the basis of GRETA’s report and conclusions, make recommendations to a Party concerning the measures to be taken to follow up GRETA’s conclusions.

III. Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (2006-2008)

The Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings was launched in 2006 under the slogan "Human being – not for sale" and concluded when the Convention entered into force in February 2008. The main aims of this Campaign were:

    · to raise awareness of the problem of trafficking in human beings as well as possible solutions to it among governments, parliamentarians, local and regional authorities, NGOs and civil society, and
    · to promote the widest possible signature and ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

This Council of Europe Campaign was carried out by the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division of the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs with contributions from the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Information Offices of the Council of Europe and the Directorate of Communication (media coverage of the different Campaign events and production of a TV spot) as well as Directorate General of Social Cohesion (training seminars for romani mediators to prevent trafficking in human beings).

1. Activities carried out by Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division

At the core of the intergovernmental activities of the Campaign were a series of regional information and awareness raising seminars:

    · Bucharest, 4-5 April 2006: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution
    · Riga, 21-22 September 2006: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution
    · Rome, 19-20 October 2006: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution
    · Oslo, 1-2 November 2006: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution
    · Athens, 5-6 December 2006: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution
    · Nicosia, 15-16 February, 2007: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution
    · Berlin, 19-20 April 2007: Measures to Protect and Promote the Rights of Victims.
    · Yerevan, 5-6 September 2007: Measures to Prevent, Protect and Prosecute
    · Paris, 27-28 September 2007: Criminal and Procedural Measures
    · Belgrade, 18-19 October 2007: Measures to Protect and Promote the Rights of Victims
    · London, 10-11 December 2007: Measures to Protect and Promote the Rights of Victims.

A total of 41 member states participated in one or more of these seminars which aimed to highlight the measures which can be taken to prevent this new form of slavery; to protect the human rights of victims and; to prosecute the traffickers and their accomplices. The seminars were attended on average by between 100 and 150 participants: Council of Europe keynote speakers, national officials with expertise in human rights and criminal and prosecution matters, parliamentarians, as well as a large number of representatives from national and international NGOs. The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Commissioner for Human Rights were invited to participate and present their anti-trafficking activities. The OSCE and the UNODC were invited to participate in the seminars in the context of the co-operation with these two Organisations.

Apart from these Regional Seminars, regional co-operation was also carried out in the South Caucasus: A Regional Seminar on Guidelines for a co-ordinated action against trafficking in human beings in South Caucasus was held in Tbilisi (Georgia) on 22-23 February. This seminar was a follow-up to the regional seminar on Co-ordinated action against trafficking in human beings in South Caucasus: towards a regional plan of action organised in November 2002 in Tbilisi. In addition to the three South Caucasus countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), Turkey participated in this seminar

Bilateral co-operation in the form of seminars took place with Montenegro (seminars on Non legislative measures for preventing trafficking in human beings and strengthening the protection of victims in Montenegro, Igola, 26-28 April 2006, and on Action against trafficking in human beings in Montenegro: protection of victims and prosecution of traffickers, (Kolasin, 5-6 July 2007) and with the Russian Federation on Promotion of the signature and ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by the Russian Federation, Moscow, (15-16 November 2006).

One of the key features of the awareness-raising strategy aimed at civil society was a comic strip for young people entitled "You're not for Sale" prepared and widely distributed in 16 languages.

In addition, the Council of Europe prepared a study entitled Trafficking in human beings: Internet recruitment on the misuse of Internet for the recruitment of victims of trafficking in human beings and a seminar on this subject was organised in Strasbourg on 7-8 June 2007.

One of the last activities carried out in the context of the Campaign was a conference on the Monitoring mechanism of the Convention (Strasbourg, 8-9 November 2007) organised in preparation for the entry into force of the Convention. Council of Europe member states, observer states, international governmental and non-governmental organisations were invited to participate in this event which aimed to familiarise them with the Convention’s monitoring mechanism, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) and the Committee of the Parties.

The proceedings of all the seminars and the conference as well as the study Trafficking in human beings: internet recruitment are available on the following website: www.coe.int/trafficking

2. Activities carried out by the Parliamentary Assembly

The Parliamentary Assembly was actively involved in the Council of Europe Campaign. It organised different activities in this framework (e.g. drafting and publication of the Handbook for parliamentarians on the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, written declaration n° 376, creation of a standing Sub Committee on Trafficking in Human Beings, etc). Representatives of the PACE actively participated in the regional seminars and conferences mentioned above. Members of the PACE participated in different conferences in this area such as Wilton Park Conference “Human trafficking: How best to stem the flow?” (28-30 June 2007).

At its meeting on 29 April 2008 in Vienna, the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of the PACE held an exchange of views with a representative of the UNODC Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, and Mr Mohamed Mattar, Expert, on the UN draft Handbook for parliamentarians on "the appropriate legal responses to combating trafficking in persons".

3. Activities carried out by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

At its 2006 plenary session the Congress adopted a Resolution highlighting the Congress’ full support to the anti-trafficking Campaign of the Council of Europe with an appended Declaration on the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings for signature by individual local authorities.

The Declaration commits those representatives of local authorities who have signed it to support the Council of Europe Campaign, to mobilise all the forces at their disposal for awareness-raising purposes and to make the fight against trafficking a top priority for their administrations, in particular with regard to protection of victims.

Following a signing ceremony of the declaration by the first 15 signatories, held in front of the hemicycle during the Congress Plenary Session of 2006, the declaration was placed online. It remains open for signature and to date over 485 local authorities have signed it. Interest has also been shown in the declaration from outside Europe by local authorities and NGOs.

4. Commissioner for Human Rights

The Commissioner for Human Rights has continued to raise the issue of trafficking in human beings systematically during his country assessment visits and subsequent assessment reports. In his reports, the Commissioner has emphasized that trafficking in human beings is a serious and complex human rights problem with a clear international dimension requiring continuous action and co-ordination at both national and international levels. He has paid particular attention to legislation criminalising trafficking, effective implementation of national action plans (when they exist), the provision of adequate services and protection to the victims of trafficking as well as trafficking in children.

The Commissioner has used his country visits to raise awareness of the problem of trafficking in human beings as well as possible solutions in his meetings with governmental authorities, representatives of the judiciary, law enforcement bodies, NGOs and civil society and has promoted the signing and ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

The Commissioner and his Office supported the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings by taking part in seminars and conferences organised by the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division.

5. Activities carried out by the Information Offices of the Council of Europe

The majority of the Information Offices of the Council of Europe (IOCEs) translated and published in their national languages the promotional and information materials related to the topic:

• brochure on "Trafficking in human beings";
• comic strip “You’re not for sale”;
• Council of Europe Convention on Action against trafficking in human beings and its Explanatory
Memorandum;
• CM Recommendation Rec(2000)11 on action against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of
sexual exploitation;
• Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1611 (2003) on “Trafficking in organs in Europe”;
• Congress Recommendation 165 (2005) on “The fight against trafficking in human beings and their
sexual exploitation: the role of cities and regions”;
• information cards “You are not for sale”.

Posters on trafficking in human beings were produced and widely disseminated in the countries. TV spots on "Action against trafficking in human beings” were re-voiced and broadcast free of charge on national/regional TV stations.

The IOCE in Tirana in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior established information stands at the main airport and port in Albania to raise awareness against trafficking in human beings.

The IOCE in Tbilisi put the video highlights on trafficking issues on the Office website and presented it to a number of TV stations for broadcasting free of charge. The videos were also used for presentation in two anti-trafficking Information points in the border areas of Georgia.

The IOCE in Bratislava published articles (3) on the campaign against trafficking in the Friendship and Nota Bene magazines.

The IOCE in Moldova made four TV programmes on trafficking in human beings in the framework of the TV programme "Buna dimineata".

The Information Offices created a special webpage on their Office's website on the campaign to combat trafficking in human beings (in the national language in order to promote the campaign to a broad public within the country).

During the last two years (2006-2007), the Information Offices organised various events in their countries to promote the campaign:

24 seminars, 2 meetings, 1 concert, 2 conferences, 1 round table, 2 training, 5 presentations, 8 radio interviews and press conferences were carried out in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

IV. Current and future activities

1. Setting up the monitoring mechanism of the Convention

Article 36(4) of the Convention stipulates that the election procedure of the members of GRETA shall be determined by the Committee of Ministers, with the unanimous consent of the Parties, within a period of one year following the entry into force of the CETS No 197.

It follows from Article 37(2) and (3) that the Committee of the Parties shall meet within a period of one year following the entry into force, adopt its own rules of procedure and elect the members of GRETA.

According to Article 36(4) GRETA shall adopt its own rules of procedure. Article 38(1) and (2) stipulate that GRETA shall determine the length of rounds for the evaluation procedure, select the specific provisions on which each round shall be based and adopt a questionnaire addressed to all Parties.

Therefore the future activities in 2008 and 2009 will be the following:

· Adoption of the Resolution on rules on the election procedure of the members of the
Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) by the Committee of Ministers on 11 June 2008

· The Parties2 to the CETS No. 197 nominate their candidates for GRETA and the procedure established by the Committee of Ministers is implemented
· The Committee of the Parties meets for the first time in December 2008 or on 31 January 2009 at the latest, adopt its rules of procedure and elect the members of GRETA in its first composition
· First meeting of GRETA (February 2009)
· GRETA will adopt its own rules of procedure
· GRETA will determine the length of rounds for the evaluation procedure
· GRETA will select the specific provisions on which each round shall be based
· GRETA may adopt a questionnaire addressed to all Parties for the first evaluation round

In order to enable the Committee of the Parties to adopt its rules of procedure at its first meeting before proceeding with the election of the members of GRETA (Article 37-2 of the Convention), informal consultations of the Parties and Contracting States3 will be held to prepare these draft rules of procedure.

The Secretariat of the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division will prepare a working and information document to assist the newly elected GRETA in its initial tasks concerning the adoption of its rules of procedure and its procedure for evaluating implementation of the Convention by the Parties.

2. Setting up the Trafficking Information Management System (TIMS)

In parallel to setting up the monitoring mechanism a Council of Europe Project Team (made up of representatives from the Information Technology Department, Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division and other departments within the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs) has been created to set up the Trafficking Information Management System (TIMS) to support the monitoring mechanism. TIMS' objectives are to:

· Support efficient collection of information from governments, NGOs and other parties, in particular with minimal administrative overhead to GRETA and the Secretariat.
· Ensure that this information is captured and stored in a structured format appropriate to current and potential reporting and analysis requirements.
· Facilitate the production of documents through the various stages of their lifecycle from initial draft to published report and archiving.
· Ensure that this information is stored reliably and securely.
· Facilitate easy access to this information through appropriate search, navigation and reporting mechanisms.

TIMS is partly funded through voluntary contributions (cf 2007/DG2/VC/1395 Trafficking Information Management System (TIMS) for the monitoring mechanism of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings). More funds will be required in 2009.

3. Activities to promote the Convention

The Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division will organise in the second half of 2008 and 2009 bilateral and multilateral activities to promote the signature and ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as to promote its measures and their implementation.

In addition, representatives of the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division actively participate in national and international events to promote the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (e.g. Roundtable Discussion: Ireland and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: Protecting Victims. What Next?, Dublin, 9 April 2008; Video conference with the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights on the measures of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings regarding the protection of victims of trafficking, Strasbourg-Ottawa, 26 May 2008; EU Regions Tackling Human Trafficking Together, Brussels, 11 June 2008; Round Table Discussion: Time for an Independent Trafficking Rapporteur in the UK?, London, 18 June 2008).

At the initiative of the Portuguese authorities and with the support of the Council of Europe Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division a Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign of the Community of States of Portuguese Language (CPLP)4 was launched in Lisbon on 16 November 2007. This Joint-Campaign, currently being implemented, uses the graphic line and the title of the Council of Europe’s comic strip “You’re not for sale”.

The PACE continues to be actively involved in promoting the widest possible signature and/or ratification of the Council of Europe Convention (by states and by the European Community). In this framework it organised a joint meeting with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament, held on 20 November 2007, in Brussels. The President is promoting the signature and/or the ratification of the Convention with Ministers and Speakers of Parliaments he meets during his visits to different Council of Europe member states.

On 24 January 2008, Mr Branger (France, EPP/CD) was appointed new rapporteur on The role of parliamentarians in promoting the rapid entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and its ratification by as many states as possible. The report is scheduled to be finalised at Committee level later this year.

Given the renewal of its delegations at the Plenary Session in May this year, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities plans to make new members aware of the Congress’ texts on the fight against trafficking in human beings and their sexual exploitation adopted in 2005 (Recommendation 165 and Resolution 196) and renew its call for signature of the Declaration mentioned-above. Furthermore, the Congress envisages a series of activities (report, seminar) on human trafficking during the course of its 2009-2010 work programme which are intended as a follow-up and complement to its texts of 2005.

The Commissioner for Human Rights will continue to raise the issue of trafficking in human beings systematically during his country assessment visits and subsequent assessment reports.

4. Follow-up to GRETA reports and Committee of the Parties’ recommendations

The Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division will organise bilateral and multilateral activities to assist the Parties to the Convention in carrying out the necessary follow-up to GRETA's reports and conclusions as well as to implement recommendations of the Committee of the Parties on measures to be taken to implement the conclusions of GRETA for the proper implementation of the Convention.

V. Co-operation with other international governmental and non-governmental organisations

1. OSCE

The fight against trafficking in human beings was identified in the Joint Declaration on Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE as one of the priority areas where co-operation between the two organisations should be strengthened. The Council of Europe focal point for trafficking in human beings is at present Pēteris Kārlis Elferts, Permanent Representative of Latvia to the Council of Europe and Thematic Co-ordinator on Gender Equality of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. To date 7 meetings of the Co-ordination Group between the Council of Europe and the OSCE have taken place the last one on 14 March 2008. The 8th meeting of this Co-ordination Group will take place in the second half of 2008 (date to be decided).

The OSCE representatives participated in almost all the events organised in the context of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Eva Biaudet, participated in and gave presentations in the following events:

· 6th Regional information and awareness raising Seminar on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution (Nicosia, 15-16 February 2007);
· 9th Regional information and awareness raising Seminar on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: Criminal and Procedural Measures (Paris, 27-28 September 2007);
· Conference on the Monitoring Mechanism of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Strasbourg, 8-9 November 2007).

The Deputy Secretary General, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio and representatives of the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division actively participates in the OSCE Alliance against Trafficking in Persons and its Alliance Expert Coordination Team (AECT).

The Council of Europe and the OSCE are currently preparing a joint publication (to be completed end 2008/beginning 2009) on action against trafficking in human beings incorporating the most important Council of Europe legal and political instruments and relevant Ministerial Decisions of the OSCE.

2. United Nations

a. Side-Event on Girl Child Victims of Trafficking

On the occasion of the 51st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a Side-Event on Girl Child Victims of Trafficking (New York, 1 March 2007) was organised jointly by the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division and the Permanent Mission of San Marino to the UN during the San Marino Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. Deputy Secretary General, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio gave the opening address during this event, which promoted the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

b. Joint Council of Europe-United Nations study on Trafficking in organs and tissues, including trafficking in human beings for the purpose of the removal of organs

At the end of 2007, Deputy Secretary General, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio and the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women Rachel N. Mayanja agreed to prepare a Joint Council of Europe-United Nations study on Trafficking in organs and tissues, including trafficking in human beings for the purpose of the removal of organs. This Joint Study will give an overview of the state of affairs, examine existing measures to combat trafficking in organs and explore possible further avenues for fighting it, including drafting new international legal instruments.

The Study, which will reflect the Council of Europe’s multi-sectoral approach (bioethics, organisational measures on availability of organs and organ trafficking, including trafficking in human beings), will be prepared in 2008 jointly by a scientific expert appointed by the UN, Mr Arthur Caplan, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and the Director of the Centre for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (United States of America), and a legal expert appointed by the Council of Europe, Ms Carmen Prior, Public Prosecutor (Austria). The Joint Study will be presented by the Council of Europe and the United Nations in an event which will take place in 2009.

c. Intersecting Human Rights Crises: Organ Transplantation and Organ Trafficking, New Challenges and Controversies (New York, 11 December 2007)

Ms Rachel Mayanja, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women invited the Council of Europe to co-sponsor this event which was organised by the UN in collaboration with the IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics in the context of the UN General Assembly on Children. Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, gave a presentation of the Council of Europe's work in this field.

d. The Deputy Secretary General, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio attended the United Nations General Assembly thematic debate on human trafficking in New York on 3 June 2008 and moderated the panel on “Protecting victims of trafficking and cross-border co-operation in prosecuting traffickers in persons”.

e. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) participated and gave presentations in several of the events organised in the framework of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings.

f. United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT)

UN.GIFT was launched in March 2007 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It is supported by a Steering Committee composed of UNODC, ILO, IOM, UNICEF, UNHCHR and OSCE. The Council of Europe is not a member of this Steering Committee. The aim of the UN.GIFT is to mobilise state and non-state players to eradicate human trafficking by reducing both the vulnerability of potential victims and the demand for exploitation in all its forms; ensuring adequate protection and support to those who do fall victim, as well as efficient prosecution of the criminals involved.

The Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings was very much at the centre of the debate, not just amongst European States but also among states from other regions during the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking (Vienna, 13-15 February 2008). Ms Maud de Boer Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, participated as a speaker in several panel sessions. In addition, the Council of Europe had a very well-attended information stand which provided an ideal platform for promoting the Convention in a global context.

The PACE was represented at the Parliamentary Forum on Trafficking (12 February 2008) organised by the IPU in co-operation with the Austrian Parliament and UNODC on the occasion of the Vienna Forum to Fight Trafficking.

3. European Union

The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union were represented in a number of activities organised in the framework of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings.

Representatives of the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division participated in different events and conferences organised by the EU such as Trafficking in Human Beings and Gender (Porto, 8-9 October 2007), Consultative meeting on Trafficking in Human beings (Brussels, 18 June 2007) organised by the Directorate General of Justice, Freedom and Security of the European Commission.

4. Other international organisations

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), EUROPOL, EUROJUST and the Council of the Baltic Sea States also participated in events organised in the framework of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings.

5. International non-governmental organisations

Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International and La Strada International made valuable contributions to the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and actively participated in the events organised.

On the occasion of the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, the three Organisations made a joint statement “A major step forward in ensuring the protection of the rights of trafficked persons”.

Furthermore, Amnesty International prepared a paper Convention against Trafficking: 14 Recommendations to ensure the election of independent experts of the highest calibre to monitor implementation to support the setting-up of the Group of Experts on Trafficking in human beings (GRETA) on the occasion of Council of Europe Conference on the Monitoring Mechanism of the Convention (GRETA) (Strasbourg, 8-9 November 2007).

A representative of the Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division participated in the conference Strengthened co-operation against trafficking in women - from national to regional strategies (Vilnius, 5-7 October 2007) organised by the European Women’s Lobby and the Nordic Baltic Network.

Appendix

Council of Europe Campaign to combat trafficking in human beings

Publications

Proceedings of Conferences and Seminars

· Monitoring mechanism of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) – Proceedings of the Conference, Strasbourg, 8-9 November 2007 (EG-THB-CONF)

· Misuse of the Internet for the Recruitment of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings – Proceedings of the Seminar, Strasbourg, 7-8 June 2007 (EG-THB-INT (2007) Actes)

· Proceedings of the Regional Information and awareness raising seminars

    o Action against trafficking in human beings: measures to protect and promote the rights of victims - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, London, 10-11 December 2007 (EG-THB-SEM11)
    o Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: Measures to Protect and Promote the Rights of Victims, Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Belgrade, 18-19 October 2007 (EG-THB-SEM10)
    o Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: Criminal and Procedural Measures, Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Paris 27-28 September 2007 (EG-THB-SEM9)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: measures to prevent, protect and prosecute - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Yerevan, 5-6 September 2007 (EG-THB-SEM8)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: Measures to protect and promote the rights of victims - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Berlin, 19-20 April 2007 (EG-THB-SEM7)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: Prevention, protection and prosecution - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Nicosia, 15-16- February 2007 (EG-THB-SEM6)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: Prevention, protection and prosecution – Proceedings of the Regional Conference, Athens, 5-6 December 2006 (EG-THB-SEM5)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Oslo, 1-2 November 2006 (EG-THB-SEM4)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Rome, 19-20 October 2006 (EG-THB-SEM3)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Riga, 21 - 22 September 2006 (EG-THB-SEM2)
    o Action against trafficking in human beings: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution - Proceedings of the Regional Seminar, Bucharest, 4 -5 April 2006 (EG-THB-SEM1)

Studies and other publications

· Trafficking in human beings: Internet recruitment - Misuse of the Internet for the Recruitment of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings (EG-THB-INT (2007) 1)
· Fact Sheet: Council of Europe Convention in Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings
· Fact Sheet: Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings
· Brochure :Trafficking in Human beings
· Comic Strip: "You're not for Sale"

All available on: www.coe.int/trafficking

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. It was declassified at the 1029th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (11 June 2008) (see CM/Del/Dec(2008)1029/4.1b).
Note 2 “Party“ means a state which has consented to be bound by the treaty and for which the treaty is in force.
Note 3 “Contracting State” means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty, whether or not the treaty has entered into force.
Note 4 Member States of the CPLP : Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tomé and Principe, Brazil, Timor-Leste, Portugal.


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