On 19 June 2020, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) published new guidance on the entitlement of victims of trafficking, and persons at risk of being trafficked, to international protection.
The aim of the document is to support authorities, agencies, and organisations working with victims, or potential victims, of human trafficking in order to prevent their return to their countries of origin when this would present a risk for their rights or freedoms under the framework of International protection.
The guidance explores the International legal framework and its practical application, including both the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). In particular, GRETA recalls the importance of protecting victims or potential victims of human trafficking throughout the entire international protection procedure; refraining from punishing the irregular entry into a State; and ensuring a fair and efficient access to the asylum and reception system in a safe, child- and gender-sensitive manner, with due respect for human dignity.
Finally, in the light of the principle of non-refoulement, States shall ensure the effective implementation of an examination to determine the pre-removal risk of human trafficking, considering, inter alia, the risk of re-victimisation and re-trafficking, together with the realistic options for reintegration and societal participation, both in the country of origin and under the Dublin regulation.
Photo: (CC) Council of Europe