The conference, organized during the Croatian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, took place on 22 May 2018 at the “Palais de l’Europe” in Strasbourg, France. It brought together political leaders, anti-trafficking experts, civil society activists, as well as representatives of academia and business.
The conference examined the impact of the Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking Convention on State Parties’ law, policy and practice, and in particular on improving the situation and rights of victims of trafficking. An emphasis has been placed on the human rights-based and victim-centred approach by the Convention and the positive obligations of States to prevent trafficking, protect victims, prosecute traffickers and engage in international co-operation in order to achieve the purposes of the Convention.
At the same time, this was an occasion to analyze remaining gaps in the implementation of the Convention together with new challenges and innovative ways to address them. The conference emphasized the importance of having a monitoring mechanism which measures progress and will serve as a platform for promoting the Convention beyond Europe.
With 230 people from all over Europe, it was an opportunity to meet people we already work with as well as new ones from Ireland, Greece. We also had the opportunity to listen to survivors Maria from Spain, (right) and Fareeda (a Yazidi woman).
At the end of the conference, a few of us were honored to attend a special ceremony, when Nicolas le Coz (former President of GRETA) received a special honour and diploma for his anti-trafficking work during his years with GRETA.