GLO.ACT supports EU Day against Trafficking in Human Beings

Lisbon, Portugal, 14 February 2019 - On 18 October 2018, Mrs. Joana Wrabetz, Policy Advisor for the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) participated in a conference on "Prevention, Identification and Fight Against Trafficking in Human Beings",held at the Portuguese Parliament to mark the European Union's Day against trafficking in human beings.

Portugal is a country of origin, transit and destination with victims originating from all over the world. According to the latest report of the Portuguese Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings (OTSH), a total of 175 potential victims were flagged in Portugal during 2017, out of which 4 were confirmed, 74 are still under investigation (69 in Portugal and 5 in other countries) and the remainder were either not confirm as cases of Trafficking in Persons (TIP), flagged by other entities and NGOs or not considered by NGOs and other entities. Amid the flagged potential victims were 45 children averaging 13 years of age. The main type of exploitation continues to be for labour exploitation in the agricultural sector, followed by sexual exploitation, forced begging, forced pregnancy with the intent of illegal adoption and illegal adoption or sale of minors.

Under the framework of the Portuguese strategy to fight TIP and to commemorate EU Day against trafficking in human beings, a public event is organized on an annual basis and broadcasted at the national level to raise awareness and bring together different actors involved in the fight against this crime.

This year, the conference on ' Prevention, Identification and Fight Against Trafficking in Human Beings', organized by the Law School of the Nova University of Lisbon in collaboration with the Portuguese Parliament, brought together some of the main actors in the fight against trafficking in human beings in Portugal. The conferences was opened by the Director of the Law Faculty of the Nova University of Lisbon and the State Secretary for Gender Equality and Citizenship, which operates within the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, and is the responsible entity for the development, coordination and implementation of the National Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings.

The first session addressed the international and national dimensions of the TIP phenomenon, and was opened by Mrs Joana Wrabetz with a presentation on UNODC, with a special focus on the GLO.ACT and some of the most recent tools of UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) programme. Following which, National Rapporteur, Mr. Manuel Albano, spoke about the IV National Plan of Action against TIP, and by the Director of the Observatory, Ms. Rita Penedo, that shared the latest statistics.

The second session addressed diverse issues such as TIP and maritime law, TIP and citizenship and the role of media, with presentations from Mr. Vasco Becker-Weinberg, specialist on maritime law, Ms. Teresa Anjinho, Deputy of the national Assembly and now working for the Ombudsman and Ms. Raquel Moleiro, an award winner investigative journalist on TIP.

                         

The third and last session focused on the fight against this crime, with presentations from Ms. Ana Rita Gil, from the law faculty of the Nova University of Lisbon focusing on the role of the European Union, Mr. Gonçalo Rodrigues, from the Anti-Trafficking Unit of the Border and Migration Police (SEF) on collection and analysis of criminal evidence based on real cases and, finally, a presentation by the Prosecutor Jorge Leitão on the legal statute and protection of TIP victims.

The conference attracted a large and diverse audience, from parliamentarians, to civil society, state practitioners as well as academia. The involvement of parliamentarians representing all major political parties as moderators at the different panels, represents the commitment and engagement of all political colours in the fight against a crime that touch us all.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms .

For more information, please contact:

GLO.ACT Policy Joana Wrabetz joana.wrabetz@un.org

UNODC Vienna: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email:  glo.act@un.org

Twitter:     @glo_act