Human trafficking: Council of Europe experts call on Luxembourg to step up efforts to identify and assist victims - ednews.net

3 December, Saturday

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Human trafficking: Council of Europe experts call on Luxembourg to step up efforts to identify and assist victims

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The Council of Europe’s expert group on human trafficking (GRETA) has urged Luxembourg to make additional efforts to identify and assist victims of trafficking, and to ensure that human trafficking cases are investigated proactively and results in effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions. These are among the main proposals for action included in the third evaluation of Luxembourg’s implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
 
Luxembourg is a country of destination and transit for victims of trafficking in human beings. The total number of presumed victims of trafficking in the period 2018-2021 was 68, of whom 20 were formally identified as victims of trafficking by the police. All the victims were foreigners, mainly from Romania, China, Ukraine and Portugal. The majority of the presumed victims were trafficked for the purpose of labour exploitation, followed by forced begging and sexual exploitation.
 
GRETA acknowledges steps taken by Luxembourg to further develop its legislative framework relevant to action against trafficking in human beings, including by amending the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Law on the Legal Profession. At the same time, GRETA notes with concern the low prosecution rate, the absence of effective sentences and the low level of seizure of traffickers’ assets, which engenders a feeling of impunity and undermines efforts to encourage victims to testify against traffickers.
 
Noting that access to compensation remains rare, GRETA urges the Luxembourg authorities to make additional efforts to guarantee effective access to compensation for victims of trafficking. The report also recommends that full use be made of the available measures in law to protect victims of trafficking from intimidation or further trauma, including by using videoconferencing and other appropriate arrangements to avoid cross-examination of victims of trafficking in the presence of the trafficker.
 


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