Trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation is a growing concern in Europe and the world. Although it accounts for over a third of the total cases of human trafficking detected worldwide, it is often an invisible and complex crime that causes serious human rights violations and long-term suffering. to the victims.
On November 4, a webinar to present the new HELP (Human rights education for legal professionals) The online training module on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation was organized by the Anti-Trafficking Actions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Serbia, implemented in the framework of the joint program of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022â.
The webinar brought together more than 130 participants – labor inspectors, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police officers, representatives of international organizations, national ministries responsible for human rights and human trafficking issues as well as organizations of civil society working with victims.
Insights into the situation in the three countries with regard to trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation and the efforts of national actors to identify cases and protect victims were provided respectively by Sanin PRAÅ OVIÄ, consultant in the Department. Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina Anti-Trafficking, Magdalena NESTOROVSKA, National Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration at the Ministry of the Interior of North Macedonia and Mitar ÄURAÅ KOVIÄ, National Co-ordinator of the fight against human trafficking at the Serbian Ministry of the Interior.
Petya NESTOROVA, Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings underlined the importance of the subject which is among the highest long-term priorities of the Council of Europe and recalled the recently published key resources of the Expert Panel. on the fight against trafficking in human beings (GRETA) – the Compendium of good practices in the fight against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation as well as the Guidance note on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation.
The authors of the HELP training module, Mike Dottridge and Klara Skrivankova, presented the learning objectives of the module and gave a detailed overview of its content. They addressed the complexity of the labor exploitation continuum (from minor labor rights violations under labor law to major human rights violations under criminal law) and underlined the importance of the use of indicators and systematic coordination between the different agencies in the identification of cases of trafficking. . Other concepts such as deception and abuse of power, or position of vulnerability were explained.
The approach of the European Court of Human Rights in matters of trafficking in human beings and forced labor was presented by KreÅ¡imir KAMBER, lawyer at the registry of the Court, through an overview of a selection of case law from the Court. It clarified states’ obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights to ensure effective protection against trafficking in human beings, not to punish victims for the unlawful acts they have committed and to investigate a credible suspicion of human trafficking.
Valentina Boz, HELP program project coordinator in the Western Balkans, explained the general concept of the HELP course and how the HELP platform works as an interactive online course.
The training module is an important tool for developing national capacity to identify and prosecute cases of labor exploitation, as well as to provide adequate support and assistance to victims. It is offered as part of the HELP course on combating trafficking in human beings and as a stand-alone course, as it comprehensively addresses the issues related to trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation.