On October 8 STOP THE TRAFFIK Belgium helped the ALDE (Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe) organize ‘Who is fighting human trafficking, who is not?’, a seminar that focused on the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The first European treaty in this field, it was put into place in May 2005 and came into effect in February 2008.
The treaty focuses mainly on the protection of trafficking victims, the prevention of trafficking and the prosecution of traffickers. An appointed group of experts evaluate measures taken by member countries and recommend action for those countries not complying with the convention.
The aim of the hearing was to encourage member countries to sign and ratify this Convention and urge compliance with the Convention in practice. Several NGO and government representatives from different countries including Spain and Romania participated in the debate. When asked how these two countries were implementing the Convention at home, Spain recognised the need to step up its efforts and Romania, having ratified the convention, still needs to put this convention into practice.
STOP THE TRAFFIK demanded a new peer review mechanism to evaluate the progress of member countries on the implementation of the Convention after ratification and impose sanctions for non-compliance. STOP THE TRAFFIK awaits a response on this demand, and continues to work with MEPs to improve the human trafficking situation on the continent.