Warsaw, 15 June 2023 (TDI): In order to prevent and combat human trafficking for labour exploitation, the Council of Europe organized a seminar on June 13, 2023, at which measures to protect and identify victims as well as the GRETA report on Poland were presented.

Representatives of governmental institutions, NGOs, academia, diplomatic missions and international organisations partook in the discussions organized by the Council of Europe’s Anti-Trafficking Division, in Warsaw.

Considering the Recommendation on preventing and combating human trafficking for labour exploitation in September 2022, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the participants discussed measures regarding the identification, prevention and protection of human trafficking victims, the criminal justice system, partnerships and business roles.

In the course of the meeting, the participants also considered the preparation of a checklist to analyze compliance with the recommendations.

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Moreover, the parties also presented their views regarding GRETA’s report on Poland’s implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

The report highlights a rise in the cases of trafficking for labour exploitation, which is the emerging form of victim exploitation as identified by the Border Guard and the National Prosecutor’s Office.

Poland’s GRETA Report

Poland has been a destination for victims of human trafficking, with an increasing number of victims for the purpose of labour exploitation, in recent times.

Especially since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, it has become a hub for refugees which increases the chances of exploitation of people by traffickers.

GRETA, the CoE’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

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It conducts surveys and prepares reports on countries’ legal and other related reforms for the Convention. It published its third report on Poland’s compliance with the Convention on June 9, 2023.

The report highlights significant legal reforms and structural changes introduced by the Polish authorities regarding the implementation of the CoE Convention against human trafficking.

Furthermore, GRETA presented some recommendations to the Polish authorities to improve risk assessment and legal assistance to victims.

Human trafficking for labour exploitation is on the rise in Europe. Therefore, the Council of Europe, in compliance with GRETA and the Convention on combating human trafficking, is working towards mitigating this threat and preventing it from plaguing society.

The organization’s regular meetings with civil society organizations, member states and other related bodies express hope for the development of a society free of human exploitation and trafficking.