Action against trafficking in human beings: promoting the Council of Europe convention
- Parliamentary 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).
1. Trafficking in human beings is
a genuine scourge in our societies. It is a modern form of slavery
and one of the worst forms of violation of human rights, dignity
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
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 Organization 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.
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 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 their 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.
Recalling its Resolution
“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 to:
11.1 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 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 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.