Under the European Union/Council of Europe co-operation initiative Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye and its activities “Preventing and combating human trafficking in North Macedonia” (2019 – 2022) and “Strengthening of the antitrafficking action in North Macedonia” (2023 – 2026), the Minister of Interior, Oliver Spasovski and the Director of the State Labour Inspectorate, Vesna Tomovska signed the Memorandum of co-operation for detection of criminal offences of trafficking in human beings and labour exploitation and referral of potential trafficking victims of labour exploitation.
The Memorandum of co-operation provides a framework for exchanging information, coordinating activities, providing joint supervision and continuous education on human trafficking for labour exploitation. It is an important milestone that will contribute to ensuring joint investigations and successful prosecution of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation in line with the European values and standards.
The Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski highlighted the importance of the Memorandum of co-operation with the State Labour Inspectorate for a coordinated approach and an increased number of detected and identified potential victims for labour exploitation. “On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the Young Lawyers’ Association which upon the National Anti-trafficking Commission’s initiative and with the support of the EU/CoE action on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings prepared this Memorandum of co-operation in compliance with the recommendations of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking (GRETA)”, Minister Spasovski stated.
“Bearing in mind a consistent application of the laws, the inspectors monitor the congruity between the legislation and employees’ procedures in various economic sectors. The State Labour Inspectorate, which is competent to act in all registered and unregistered entities that are executing certain activities, plays an important role in detecting and discovering potential victims of human trafficking. The signing of the Memorandum of co-operation with the Ministry of Interior will strengthen the anti-trafficking capacities, will contribute towards more effective suppression of this criminal offence and will enable an easier identification and protection of the trafficking victims for labour exploitation by virtue of joint planning, co-ordination, joint supervision and continuous education”, affirmed the Director Vesna Tomovska.
Building capabilities of the labour inspectors and police to detect, identify and protect victims of trafficking for labour exploitation is among the priorities of the joint European Union and Council of Europe anti-trafficking action in North Macedonia. The Memorandum of co-operation is based on the victim-centred approach, as it supports proactive identification of potential trafficking victims of labour exploitation and their protection. It will also contribute to adequate criminal justice response to cases of human trafficking for labour exploitation.
“The Memorandum of co-operation signed today represents a powerful instrument for effective prevention and fight against human trafficking for labour exploitation in the country. The joint EU/CoE anti-trafficking action was pleased to provide expertise and support the activities leading to the signing of this Memorandum, and stands ready for further co-operation,” said Monica Petrovici, Senior Project Officer in the Anti-trafficking Division - Co-operation Unit of the Council of Europe.
The European Union / Council of Europe programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye aims at assisting Beneficiaries to comply with the Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process.