Dr. Lobnikar pledges the Ministry leadership's support to anti-trafficking
Third round of evaluation of implementation of the Council of Europe's Convention on action against trafficking in human beings is taking place in Slovenia from 6 to 9 June. State Secretary dr. Branko Lobnikar received the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Greta) today at the Ministry of the interior.
"In a field such as anti-trafficking, which addresses severe violations of human rights, monitoring is an essential mechanism for the countries to be able to identify gaps, adequately adjust national responses and adopt additional measures that contribute to eradication of human trafficking." dr. Lobinkar stressed and continued by presenting the Ministry of the Interior’s activities in the field of anti-trafficking to the experts from the Council of Europe.
The Inter-ministerial Working Group on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings has been active in the field of prevention and combating of trafficking in human beings without interruption ever since its establishment in 2003. The Group is chaired by the National anti-trafficking coordinator Tina Princes Damjanovič from the Ministry of the Interior, where the Anti-Trafficking Service was established in late November 2018, in line with the Greta's recommendations to additionally support the activities of the National coordinator.
"The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia is aware of its responsibility regarding the coordination of ant-trafficking activities and on behalf of the Ministry, I can reassure you that this support shall continue in the future," Lobnikar attested.
For several years, the Ministry of the Interior has been financing the programme that provides the victims of trafficking with safe house accommodation and support. As of 2019, the Ministry has also been financing a programme for reintegration of victims, which is to be implemented on an even larger scale in the upcoming seven years, thanks to additional EU funding. Slovenia also pays a lot of attention to international cooperation, especially the Western Balkan region, one of the priorities of last year's Slovenian presidency of the EU Council.
The State Secretary also highlighted the activities of the Informal network of national anti-trafficking coordinators of Southeast Europe, established in 2010 on Slovenia's initiative. The network has significantly contributed to closer regional cooperation in combating trafficking in human beings, had a positive impact on improvement of national anti-trafficking practices and played an important role in bringing the countries in the region closer to the EU.
In the course of the visit to Slovenia, the Greta delegation is to hold meetings with representatives of other competent Ministries, Government offices, the National Assembly, NGOs, and the Ombudsman, and visit the Asylum centre in Ljubljana, Student hall of residence in Postojna and the children's safe house (Barnahus).