Conferences and colloquies

Provisional edition

Action against trafficking in human beings: promoting the Council of Europe convention

Resolution 1702 (2010)1

1.       Trafficking in human beings is a genuine evil in our societies. It is a modern form of slavery and one of the worst forms of violation of human rights, dignity and integrity.

2.       The Parliamentary Assembly, firmly committed to combating trafficking, intends to maintain the pressure on Council of Europe member states and beyond in order to ensure that action against trafficking becomes a political priority, accompanied by effective implementation on the ground.

3.       The Assembly notes the primacy and relevance of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197), an effective instrument in the fields of prevention of trafficking, prosecuting the traffickers and protection of the victims. It intends to promote this convention and its monitoring mechanism, run by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

4.       It is pleased to note that action against trafficking is one of the main priorities of other international organisations, such as the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the United Nations. It advocates co-operation among these organisations in order to ensure effective and co-ordinated action against trafficking, centring on a “human rights” approach to combating this scourge.

5.       Consequently, the Assembly urges:

    5.1.       Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Russia to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;

    5.2.       Andorra, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine to ratify the convention;

    5.3.       states whose parliaments have observer status with the Parliamentary Assembly, observer states of the Council of Europe and other third states to sign and ratify the convention.

6.       The Assembly asks the national parliamentarians of member states which have not yet signed and/or ratified the convention to call on the minister responsible and on the Parliament to speed up the process of signing and/or ratifying the convention.

7.       It asks the national parliamentarians of member states which have ratified the convention to monitor its implementation in their domestic law and to produce an annual written report on progress to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

8.       It strongly encourages the European Union to accede to the convention as soon as possible in order to ensure that the same standards are applied in combating trafficking in human beings throughout Europe, including in the European Union.

9.       It asks Council of Europe member states to provide GRETA with the financial and human resources which it needs for its activity, with a view both to guaranteeing its independence and to ensuring effective monitoring work, and requests that the national parliaments budget for such resources.

10.       The Assembly proposes to organise a conference in 2010 on action against trafficking in human beings with all the partners involved in such action, with an eye to reinforcing co-operation among them, including consideration of modalities for interaction with GRETA, subject to the availability of funds.

11.       Recalling its Resolution 1494 (2006) “Stop trafficking in women before the FIFA World Cup”, the Assembly invites the Council of Europe member states which have not yet signed and/or ratified the convention, pending its signature and/or ratification:

    11.1.       to apply the main provisions of the convention without delay, such as the victim identification process and the thirty-day recovery and reflection period for victims, paying particular attention to presumed victims who are undergoing identification;

    11.2.       to assist victims, for instance by setting up multilingual information, reception and assistance units and ensuring that the police treat female victims of trafficking as victims and not as illegal immigrants, by providing them with a legal status;

    11.3.       to examine legislation in Sweden and the United Kingdom which transfers responsibility from trafficked women to men who use their sexual services, by making it a crime to pay for sex with a prostituted woman who has been trafficked or coerced by men.

1 Assembly debate on 26 January 2010 (4th Sitting) (see Doc. 12096, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs Wurm and Doc. 12134, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Prescott). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 January 2010 (4th Sitting).

See also Recommendation 1895 (2010).

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