[STRASBOURG, 24 October 2007] - The Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS n° 197) will enter into force on 1 February 2008, after Cyprus became the tenth country to ratify it.
Terry Davis, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, made the following statement:
“The Convention is deliberately hard on traffickers and makes a clear difference for the victims of this crime. These victims will be offered comprehensive assistance and protection of their human rights.
"Europe is finally going to use this new and far-reaching instrument to fight this modern form of slavery. Ten ratifications take us over the threshold required for the Convention to enter into force, but the Convention will use its full potential when it is ratified by other countries in Europe and beyond.
"The fact that this treaty has been agreed within the Council of Europe extends its application to all European countries, which include countries of origin, transit and destination of the victims of trafficking. It is also open to non-European countries and therefore provides a global response to a global problem.“
The main features of the new Convention include:
- compulsory assistance measures and a recovery and reflection period of at least 30 days for the victims of trafficking,
- the possibility to deliver residence permits to victims not only on the basis of cooperation with the law enforcement authorities, but also on humanitarian grounds;
- the possibility to criminalise “the clients”;
- a non-punishment clause for the victims of trafficking;
- a strengthened international cooperation system and an independent monitoring mechanism, GRETA, which will monitor the proper implementation of the Convention by the Parties.
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Last updated 24/10/2007 06:18:14