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Regional Conference “Ten years of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: Results and Perspectives in Eastern Europe

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mission to Moldova, and the Government of the Republic of Moldova have the honor to announce the commencement of the Regional Conference “Ten years of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: Results and Perspectives in Eastern Europe (Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine)”.

The event will be held at Codru Hotel, Chisinau, on 29-30 September 2015, within the framework of the Programme against Human Trafficking in Eastern Europe, funded by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-funded by the U.S. Department of State.

The 2-day Conference organized by IOM Moldova in partnership with the National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the Republic of Moldova, will bring together participants (government agencies and non-government organizations) from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus, as well as representatives of the Council of Europe, European Commission and international NGOs.

The event is dedicated to the European Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human, which was opened for signature on 16 May 2005 in Warsaw and has since then been ratified by 43 countries, including Moldova (19 May 2006), Ukraine (29 November 2010) and Belarus (26 November 2013, thus becoming the first non-member state to join this treaty, ratified on the 1st of March 2014)

Despite the time difference in the accession to the Convention, all three countries embarked on important initiatives aiming at constructing a comprehensive and efficient counter-trafficking systems based on the observance of human rights: legal and institutional frameworks are being brought in line with the Convention’s requirements; assistance and protection services are made available through National Referral Mechanisms; various partnership models are piloted and advanced.

At the same time many challenges are still in place for the Governments in their effort to transpose the Convention’s standards into practice. While THB is criminalized in all three countries and even treated as a priority area by the law enforcement bodies, criminal rings continue to extract enormous profit from exploitation of the most vulnerable and elude criminal responsibility. Economic and financial hardship translates into insufficient funding by the governments of services for victims and anti-trafficking work in general. Political instability and military conflict (growing number of internally displaced persons in Ukraine) further exacerbate existing problems and pose additional challenges in combating THB. Bureaucracy and corruption may additionally affect counter-trafficking efforts at all levels and impede the implementation of anti-trafficking legislation. Victims often lack access to justice or legal redress, including compensation for the damages suffered.

The Conference is aimed at providing a platform for the representatives of governments, civil society and international experts, discussing the results achieved, as well as the challenges entailed by the implementation of the standards provided under the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. It will have a particular focus on the way it affected the state of human rights in the respective countries. Among others, it seeks to tackle the following issues: national counter-trafficking coordination mechanisms, effective protection and access to justice for the victims of trafficking in human beings, and the changing role of NGOs in the counter-trafficking area.

To find out more about the Conference, please contact:

 

Viorica Olaru, PR & Communication Officer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , +373 69643819