The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published a report on the 7th of October, 2016 which assesses developments since the publication of GRETA’s 1st evaluation report in 2012 as regards the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by the UK.
The report acknowledges the progress that has been made in a number of areas, notably including the adoption of dedicated, comprehensive legislation on human trafficking/modern slavery.
It welcomes the efforts of the UK to engage with civil society and the multi-agency approach being promoted by the authorities, especially when it comes to identifying victims.
An especially positive development has been the creation of the post of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to encourage good practice in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking as well as identification of trafficked victims.
The report urges the United Kingdom to improve the identification and protection of child victims of trafficking, expressing particular concern about children going missing from local authority care.
It also calls for extending adequate support and assistance to victims of trafficking, beyond the period of 45 days currently provided for, to facilitate their recovery and guarantee their protection.
“Despite many positive developments in recent years, estimates suggest that up 60% of children who have potentially been trafficked are still going missing from local authority care in the UK, usually within 48 hours of being placed in care and before being formally recognised as victims,” said GRETA President Nicolas Le Coz. “Children who go missing in one part of the UK can also end up being trafficked and exploited in another part of the country, without any connection being made.”
GRETA is currently preparing a report on its first evaluation of Greece, arising from their visit earlier this month. More on the final report when it is made public.
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.