GRETA publishes report on Armenia

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) published on Friday 21 September its first evaluation report on Armenia.

In the report, GRETA welcomes the important steps taken by the Armenian authorities to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, in particular the efforts to raise public awareness and train relevant professionals. However, GRETA considers that more targeted awareness-raising measures should be developed for vulnerable groups, in particular children.

The report underlines that the current procedure for identification of victims of trafficking is not sufficiently effective as it is likely to leave out those who did not co-operate with the law enforcement authorities. GRETA urges the Armenian authorities to disconnect the identification of victims of trafficking from their participation in criminal proceedings. GRETA also considers that all actors involved in the identification of victims should adopt a more proactive approach and increase their outreach work, in particular as regards identification of cases of trafficking for labour exploitation.

GRETA considers that the Armenian authorities should provide information to victims of trafficking about the right to compensation, ensure that they have effective access to legal aid in this respect and set up a State compensation scheme accessible to victims of trafficking. As regards victims and witnesses in criminal proceedings for trafficking cases, GRETA urges the Armenian authorities to ensure adequate protection of such persons, especially children.

Prior to drawing up its evaluation report, GRETA held consultations with the relevant authorities and non-governmental and international organisations active in the field of combating trafficking in human beings inArmenia. A confidential first draft of the report was sent to the Armenian authorities and their comments were taken into account in the final evaluation report adopted by GRETA. This report is published together with the final comments of the Armenian authorities, as provided for by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

On the basis of GRETA’s report, the Committee of the Parties to the Convention will consider adopting recommendations addressed to the Government of Armenia.

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