Report concerning the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by Poland


Date of publication:  06 May 2013 Publisher:  Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

GRETA’s evaluation reports are the result of information gathered from a variety of sources. They contain an analysis of the situation in each Party regarding action taken to combat trafficking in human beings and suggestions concerning the way in which the country may strengthen the implementation of the Convention and deal with any problems identified. In its assessment, GRETA is not bound by the case law of judicial and quasi-judicial bodies acting in the same field, but may use them as a point of departure or reference. The reports are drawn up in a co-operative spirit and are intended to assist States in their efforts; they can offer support for the changes on which the national authorities have already embarked, and lend legitimacy to the direction of national policies. Because of its multidisciplinary and multinational composition, and as a consequence of its independent approach, GRETA provides a professional and impartial international voice in this process. The Polish authorities have taken a number of important steps to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings.The social assistance, aliens’and labour legislation have been developed since 2007 to provide for a number of rights for victims of human trafficking. The criminalisation of trafficking in human being, as defined in the Convention, took effect in September 2010. That said, concerning the types of exploitation covered by the offence of trafficking in human beings in Polish law, GRETA urges the authorities to include an express prohibition of servitude so as to ensure greater certainty and clarity as to the scope of domestic law Nevertheless, GRETA considers that the authorities should improve the system for providing assistance to child victims of trafficking, both in terms of accommodation and of medium and long-term support programmes tailored to the children’s needs. The authorities should also ensure that suitable accommodation is provided to male victims of trafficking and that they can fully benefit from the assistance measures provided for in law. Finally, GRETA considers that the Polish authorities should extend all special protection procedures to cover child victims of THB up to the age of 18. GRETA also invites the Polish authorities to make full use of the available measures to protect victims and witnesses of human trafficking and to prevent intimidation in the course of the investigation and during and after the court proceedings. .

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