European Interest

Spain urged to guarantee compensation to victims of human trafficking


The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has urged the Spanish authorities to guarantee effective access to compensation to victims of human trafficking and to increase proactive investigations into trafficking for labour exploitation.

In a new report evaluating Spain’s implementation of the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking Convention, particularly the access of victims to justice and effective remedies, GRETA welcomes progress in the legal framework and policies but also identifies several shortcomings which need to be addressed. The report notes that Spain remains primarily a country of destination and transit for victims of trafficking. During the 2017-2022 period, a total of 1,687 victims of human trafficking were identified. While sexual exploitation remained the predominant form of exploitation, the number of persons identified as victims of trafficking for labour exploitation increased. The number of identified child victims remained low (79 in 2017-2022).

GRETA acknowledges that progress has been made in some areas, including the adoption of a National Strategic Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings and a National Action Plan on Forced Labour for 2021-2023. GRETA also notes positively the increased protection provided by the Law on Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents and the changes to the procedure for granting the status of a victim introduced by the Royal Law Decree on urgent measures related to the war in Ukraine.

Concerning trafficking for labour exploitation, GRETA also urges the authorities to ensure that labour inspectors have sufficient resources to carry out inspections, review the legislative framework for any loopholes that may limit the prosecution and adjudication of cases, address the risks of human trafficking in the agricultural sector and improve the detection of possible victims in this sector.

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