The second regional simulation on referral of victims of human trafficking in the Southern Mediterranean took place from 24 to 29 September 2023 in Antonio Machado Campus in Baeza, Spain, under the title "Towards a victim-centred approach in criminal proceedings". This event was organised by the Council of Europe in the framework of the joint programmes with the European Union1 with the support of the North-South Centre and in partnership with International University of Andalusia, and the Office of the Spanish Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings.
The event was opened by Ms Pilar MORALES, Coordinator of the Neighbourhood Policy with the Southern Mediterranean of the Council of Europe, Ms Francesca CAMILLERI VETTIGER, Chair of the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, and Mr. José Manuel Castro Jiménez of the International University of Andalusia, Spain.
As a follow up to the First regional simulation on “Human Trafficking on Migration Routes” held in Malta in October 2022, this second simulation focused on judicial proceedings in criminal matters with an emphasis on the role of the justice sector actors. It addressed fair, effective and victim-centred investigation and prosecution to prevent impunity of perpetrators. The simulation emphasized the importance of multi-agency coordination in ensuring that victims’ rights are respected in line with a human rights-based approach. A Moot Trial, jointly organised with Fondation René Cassin, also took place during the event, and focused on the human-rights approach.
These regional simulations contributed to the regional dynamic for a more structured regional cooperation based on the comprehensive “4 Ps” approach” (Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership) of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against trafficking in human beings. This edition brought together more than 100 participants and experts, including representatives of governments, judges and prosecutors, law enforcement, social and medical services, labour inspectorates and civil society from Belgium, Cabo Verde, Egypt, France, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Palestine*, Portugal, Senegal, Spain and Tunisia.
*This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Council of Europe and European Union member States on this issue.
1 Event organised in the framework of joint programmes « Improving the functioning, performance and access to justice in Tunisia" (AP- JUST) and “Protecting human rights, the rule of law and democracy through shared standards in the southern Mediterranean” (South Programme V) co-financed by the European union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the latter.