CoE expert group: “Georgia’s made vast progress to combat human trafficking”

The Council of Europe experts welcomed the progress Georgia has made to tackle anti-trafficking and provided new recommendations. Photo by, 03 Jun 2016 - 14:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Council of Europe’s (CoE) anti-trafficking expert group (GRETA) has today revealed its second evaluation report, which states Georgia has made vast progress to reduce illegal human trafficking.

GRETA said Georgia had worked hard to implement new local legislation and policy to effectively combat trafficking, and had implemented a number of its previous recommendations, in particular: 

  • The Criminal Code was amended and a new chapter on child victims was introduced into the Law on Combating Trafficking; 
  • Foreign victims of human trafficking can now receive temporary residence permits both on the grounds of their cooperation in criminal proceedings and for humanitarian reasons;
  • Special mobile groups were set up to detect and assist children in street situations including in acquiring identity documents, and; 
  • A unified database on human trafficking was set up. 

GRETA also welcomed the Georgian Government’s efforts to train a variety of professionals and raise general awareness of human trafficking. 

Alongside the achievements, the CoE experts also spoke out the areas that still needed to be addressed. 

GRETA wrote over the past five years, some 80 people were officially identified as victims and the vast majority of which were Georgian nationals. The report said most of the victims were trafficked for the purpose of labour exploitation, or for the purpose of sexual exploitation both abroad and within Georgia.

Turkey is the main country of destination of Georgian victims of human trafficking. Unemployed women, people from socially unprotected groups such as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and children living and working in the streets are the most vulnerable to trafficking,” stated the GRETA report. 

GRETA urged the Georgian authorities:

  • To take further steps to ensure the timely identification of victims of trafficking, with a special focus on assisting child victims;
  • To specifically define in the legislation the recovery and reflection period that should be granted to all possible victims of trafficking, regardless of their cooperation with the police;
  • To review the criminal and civil procedures regarding  the  trafficking victims’ compensation and to ensure that traffickers assets are frozen and confiscated to secure compensation; and
  • To ensure effective monitoring of private employment agencies and other intermediaries to ensure the authenticity of job offers they promote and prevent trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation.