The Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published today its first evaluation report on Azerbaijan.
In its report, GRETA welcomed the steps taken by Azerbaijan to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, including the adoption of anti-trafficking legislation and national action plans, as well as the appointment of a national co-ordinator and a working group on combating trafficking, according to the website of the Council of Europe.
The report highlights the initiatives taken to raise public awareness of human trafficking.
GRETA stresses that the role and input of NGOs and other relevant stakeholders, such as labor inspectors and medical staff, in identifying victims of trafficking should be reinforced by formalizing their involvement in the national referral mechanism.
The authorities need to ensure that safe accommodation and other assistance measures are provided to victims regardless of whether they co-operate with the investigation, according to the report.
GRETA also stresses that victims should be systematically informed about the possibility of obtaining compensation and their access to it should be ensured.
Finally, GRETA calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to strengthen their efforts to ensure that crimes related to trafficking are proactively investigated and prosecuted promptly and effectively.
The report highlights the need for further training and specialization of judges, prosecutors and police investigators.
It should be noted that prior to drawing up its evaluation report, GRETA held consultations with the relevant authorities and non-governmental and international organisations active in the field of combating trafficking in human beings in Azerbaijan.
The recommendations addressed to the Azerbaijani government will be considered on the basis of GRETA's report.