Last 21-22 March 2018, the Council of Europe brought together more than 40 key national stakeholders’ representatives in a workshop held in Mavrovo to strengthen their inter-institutional co-operation, with the goal to successfully prevent and combat trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation. Labour inspectors, social workers, police officers, ngos’ representatives and trade unions exchanged professional expertise and discussed case studies of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, focusing particularly on the textile industry, hospitality sector and child begging.
“Addressing human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation requires the mobilisation of stakeholders working in various fields, such as social and labour protection, criminal justice, migration and asylum. Knowledge and expertise from different disciplines must be combined to develop effective measures against human trafficking which place the protection of exploited workers’ rights at the centre.” – stated Liliana Sorrentino, the international consultant who facilitated the workshop together with the local consultant, Sunchica Dimitrijoska.
“Labour inspectors play an important role in detecting and identifying potential victims of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. They should pay particular attention to indicators of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation when carrying out inspections and documenting suspicious cases or incidents in their official reports.” - was the message conveyed by Fatime Bytiqi, representative of the State Labour Inspectorate.
The workshop was organised as part of the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey Action “Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings”. The former is a joint European Union and Council of Europe programme that seeks to assist beneficiaries in South-East Europe to comply with Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process.