News | Launch of COMP.ACT project
The institutional support that COMP.ACT enjoys from the Council of Europe and the OSCE was emphasised during the launch with a key note speech by the OSCE High Representative on Trafficking, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro and a video message by Thorbjorn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
it is extremely rare for trafficked people to receive compensation because the
mechanisms that are in place for redress are seldom used. Moreover, there are
many barriers that discourage them from applying for compensation or obstacles
that prevent trafficked people from receiving compensation. The COMP.ACT project is an initiative in 14
European countries that combines practical work, such as research, test cases
and the development of guidelines for professionals with international advocacy
and campaigning for access to justice and right to redress for trafficked
people. The European coalition consists of NGOs that offer direct assistance to
trafficked people, the legal community, labour unions, migrant rights
organisations and academics.
The partner countries include Austria,
Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina,
Bulgaria, Czech Republic,
Germany, Ireland, Italy,
Macedonia, Moldova, Poland,
Spain, Ukraine and United Kingdom.Thorbjorn Jagland said: "Trafficking
is one of the worst violations of basic human rights. The Council of Europe's
Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings is the first and only
international treaty that explicitly recognises the right of victims of
trafficking in human beings to be compensated for the damages suffered and the
obligation of the States to guarantee this compensation in their internal law.
I am therefore glad that the Council of Europe has lent its support to this
important pan-European campaign on compensation for trafficked persons."
"Compensation plays an integral role in the empowerment of trafficked
persons, enabling them to achieve their life objectives", said Dr. Maria
Grazia Giammarinaro, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating
Trafficking in Human Beings. "All relevant action must be taken to ensure
effective compensation, including legal counselling and representation
throughout criminal and civil proceedings, and access to appropriate State
During the panel discussion, Baerbel Uhl, the president of the EU Group of Experts, marked the launch of COMP.ACT as a historical shift in paradigm, instead of treating trafficked persons as passive victims in need of rescue, they are now acknowledged as active claimants of their rights. ODIHR reaffirmed their commitment to the project through active support on research and test cases and UNODC showed a lot of interest in cooperation with the COMP.ACT partners to mainstream compensation into anti-trafficking policies. In connection with the launch of COMP.ACT a leaflet have been made with information on the project, its supporters, donors and iams. To see the leaflet, click here.